Jillian and Ian Coutts stand outside their Lismore home that's still being fixed after last year's hailstorm.
Jillian and Ian Coutts stand outside their Lismore home that's still being fixed after last year's hailstorm. THe Northern Star/David Neilsen

Coutts family still living hail storm anguish

IAN Coutts and his family were on holidays when the devastating hail storm hit Lismore in October last year, but they are still living with the aftermath.

Luckily the damage to the Coutts' rented home wasn't extensive.

However, they are still one of many households in the area waiting for a new roof.

“There were no leaks, but there was still a bit of damage,” Mr Coutts said.

“The cladding out the back was badly dented and there were a few holes in the flyscreen, but thankfully no broken windows.

“I was sad my veggie patch got destroyed, but it has come back.”

Mr Coutts, his wife Jillian and their one-month-old son went away last week while the scaffolding went up to begin repairs to their roof, but rain over the weekend put a dampener on the work.

“It has been a long process, but it has been okay,” Mr Coutts said. “Next door just had its roof finished.”

Those in the roofing business have been flat out keeping up with demand in the past 12 months.

Trevor Gale, of Trevor Gale Roofing and Building, was building houses in the Lennox and Ballina areas at the time of the big storm.

Now he spends his time repairing roofs in Lismore because of the demand.

“It's been crazy,” Mr Gale said.

“There are seven in my crew and we're doing two roofs a week for the next six weeks.

“I reckon there's enough work to get us to Christmas, and I wouldn't be surprised if it carries on into the New Year.

“Lismore is huge – how many roofs would there be?”

Mr Gale said there had been a 'real variety' of storm damage.

“Some roofs only suffered a couple of dings, but others were badly damaged and are full of rust,” he said.

Others benefiting from the clean-up are those in the scrap metal business.

“We were selling it for a while,” Mr Gale said.

“Now the price has gone right down, so we have been getting it taken away for free.

“You would generally get a tonne and a half off a decent-sized roof.”

Mr Gale said a lot of crews came down from the Gold Coast immediately after the storm, but most of them had now left, leaving mainly local tradesmen to finish off the job nature started 12 months ago.



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