Flash flooding from the storm cuts the Coast Road between Broken Head and Lennox Head.
Flash flooding from the storm cuts the Coast Road between Broken Head and Lennox Head. Doug Eaton

Byron mops up after drenching

BYRON BAY locals are bruised and battered after yesterday's storm,except for one Mullumbimby woman and her new Mercedes-Benz.

The low pressure system that caused yesterday morning's violent weather ripped through the Byron Bay area about 8am, bringing hail and gale force winds and spawning a waterspout on the horizon.

After the storm subsided, Choppy Chop Tree Service manager Col Barton was out helping locals clean up the debris from their driveways, front yards and from the roof of one woman's brand new Mercedes car.

“A lot of the time people don't realise what is broken until later, so we will probably get a few more callslater today,” Mr Barton said.

“I did a job out at Mullumbimby where a tree had landed on a lady's brand new $35,000 Mercedes. We used the crane to pick it up and the car was fine.

“Not a dint on it, and we all thought the back window at least would be broken in.”

Byron Bay builder Phil Rodd also escaped the storm unscathed, even getting a day off work from his Broken Head construction site.

“It (the waterspout) was about 50 metres off Broken Head and moved towards Tallow Beach before moving out to sea,” he said.

“When I was driving into town there was lots of water everywhere and a bit of hail damage.”

However, some people like Broken Head Holiday Park managers Mitch Spinks and Melanie Clapham were not so lucky.

The couple only recently took over the management at the tourist holiday park and were left with knee-deep mud and ‘rain running like a river' after the storm passed.

“It was running like a river down the road after the rain started pelting down about 8.30am,” Ms Clapham said.

“We had family call us about the storm at Lennox Head, warning us to keep an eye out.

“After it hit I went over to inspect the bathrooms and I was knee-deep in mud.

“There was hail, wind, rain and more rain, and now I have to work for the next few days repairing everything,” Mr Spinks said.

The rain also washed away large parts of the caravan park's internal roads network and almost scared off a few visitors.

A tourist staying at the caravan park said they watched from their caravan as the water rose above their car wheels and feared they would be swept away or bogged in.



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