Northern Rivers' local Eli Morris saves a boy from hailstones.
Northern Rivers' local Eli Morris saves a boy from hailstones. The Northern Star

Man uses his body to save boy from hail

AS SOON as the first hailstones hit the ground in Goonellabah yesterday, Eli Morris ran from his mother's townhouse to help protect a boy from hailstones the size of tennis balls smashing into the ground.

“If they had hit him in the head it would have killed him,” Mr Morris said. “I held myself over him to protect him.”

Mr Morris, 19, of Glen Innes, is visiting his mother for Christmas and said he had never seen a storm like it in his life.

“I was freaking out, it was amazing,” he said.

Aggie Ellis, of Ravenswood Drive, grabbed as many blankets as she could find to cover the cars parked at her home.

“It all happened so fast,” she said.

“The kids were a little scared because they did not understand the hail could have hurt them.”

Mrs Ellis said she had family from Sydney visiting for Christmas who were due to drive back to Sydney just as the storm hit and had their car parked on the street in front of her home.

The owner of the car, Glen Johnston, said the hail had left about six dents on the car's roof and cracked the windscreen.

Mrs Ellis said she collected about a dozen hailstones the size of golf balls and put them in her freezer.

In Karissa Drive, Goonellabah, Craig and Katie Caban were inspecting hail damage to an awning covering their veranda.

“The hail was the size of tennis balls and punched holes right through the clear plastic strips in the awning,” Mr Caban said.

“This is the worst hailstorm we've had in the three years we have been living here.”

State Emergency Service volunteers were called to 18 homes in the Lismore area where hail had damaged roofs and skylights.

There were no reports of anyone being injured by hail during the storm.

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