Lesley McQueen and her 11-month-old son, Che Garred, outside their Collins Creek home destroyed in the Christmas Eve storm.
Lesley McQueen and her 11-month-old son, Che Garred, outside their Collins Creek home destroyed in the Christmas Eve storm. Jacklyn Wagner

Six homes destroyed as wild storm hits Kyogle area

AT LEAST six families were homeless yesterday after wild winds and hailstones the size of 20-cent pieces ripped into walls and tore off roofs from houses near Kyogle on Christmas Eve.

The storm hit between Kyogle and Wiangaree about 4pm.

Collins Creek bore the brunt of the severe storm that lasted about 30 minutes.

There were no injuries.

Witnesses told The Northern Star the wind was circular, like a tornado, and that the clouds were a vibrant blue.

“It was just like a movie. It was terrifying,” said young mother of three, Lesley McQueen, who lost her home.

The SES responded to 29 emergency calls as trees collapsed on sheds and roads.

The road to Collins Creek was yesterday strewn with twisted pieces of corrugated iron and large trees snapped like matchsticks.

About 60 homes were still without power yesterday, despite Country Energy working round the clock to restore electricity to about 300 families.

“We would love to have power back on for everybody tonight (last night), but the way things are going I can’t guarantee it because of the amount of poles and conductors that are down,” North Coast field operations manager Phillip Green said.

“It’s only in a 5km circle, but everything in that area is damaged.”

Flying metal sheets brought down wires.


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