BOB Favell was in Goonellabah on holiday from Brisbane when Tuesday’s storm struck.
BOB Favell was in Goonellabah on holiday from Brisbane when Tuesday’s storm struck.

Lismore hailstorm damages bill put at $400,000

BRISBANE man Bob Favell will never forget this year’s trip to Goonellabah to visit family.

Tuesday’s freak hail storm, which already has a damage bill of up to $400,000, put dents all over his Ford Falcon.

Mr Favell was also hit by one of the ‘cricket ball-sized’ hailstones and has the bump on his head to prove it.

“I have never seen hail that big before. I had the car looked at and it will cost about $3000 to fix,” he said.

NRMA Insurance operations manager Suzanne Jolliffe said there had already been 135 claims from customers in Goonellabah and Lismore Heights.

Smash repairers and panel beaters in Lismore yesterday said they had quoted up to $3000 to fix hail-damaged cars, which could put the storm’s damage bill at more than $400,000.

But Lismore MP Thomas George said the cost could get into the millions.

“Kyogle still hasn’t added up their costs, so I guess it will be some time before we know the extent of the hail storm,” he said.

“But it will run in to the hundreds of thousands of dollars and it could even be into the millions when you think about all the personal insurance claims.”

Mr Favell’s car was parked at Aggie Ellis’ Ravenswood Drive home when the storm hit. Two other cars at the home were also damaged.

One, a Toyota Corolla belonging to Ms Ellis’ daughter, was a write-off.

“I tried to put blankets over the cars but the hail was so big,” she said.

“My little great-niece, she’s four-years-old, was pretty frightened by the whole thing.

“It was just sickening watching and listening to the hail hitting the cars. One of the cars has huge cracks in the windscreen, so my nephew will have to get that fixed before he goes back to Sydney.”
SES volunteers attended 21 homes in Goonellabah and Lismore Heights on Tuesday night.

Local controller Lindsay Matterson said it had been a busy week for his unit.

“We’ve had a steady number of incidents,” he said.

“At this time of year there are some of our volunteers on holidays, but everyone has rallied and they’re doing really well.

“On Tuesday night we had three field teams and we also had a crew from Tabulam to help in the field. We stood everyone down by 10pm.”

Mr George thanked the SES volunteers for their hard work and dedication.

“We can’t forget these people and the hard work they do – we’re very thankful,” he said.

“I can’t believe what’s happening with our weather lately. It’s a reminder that we all have to be aware and to look out for our neighbours.

“We still have quite a bit of the summer storm season left to go.”


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