Homeless: John Murray is now looking for a rental property for his family after last week’s tornado ripped apart their Lennox home. They are one of six families left homeless following the storm.
Homeless: John Murray is now looking for a rental property for his family after last week’s tornado ripped apart their Lennox home. They are one of six families left homeless following the storm.

Community helps tornado victims

JOHN and Heike Murray, along with their two children, are homeless.

However, the Lennox Head family is not alone – there are 31 people who are without a home after last Thursday’s tornado which ripped through Lennox Head.

Six families have been put out of their homes by the storm.

Now the Ballina Shire community can do its bit to help those victims of the violent winds by donating to an appeal set up by the Lennox Head Chamber of Commerce.

As of yesterday afternoon, the appeal had raised $12,000 for the victims of the tornado.

Chamber president Louise Owen said that ‘reality was sinking in’ for Lennox Head, and she praised the community for coming together to support each other.

Mr Murray, standing outside his home of 15 years as workers wearing protective suits cleaned up asbestos debris, said it was a time to take stock and look to thefuture.

On a short-term basis, that means finding rentalaccommodation, and salvaging what belongings they can from their insured home, which had its roof ripped apart during the tornado.

Mr Murray said the family wanted to stay in Lennox Head so that schooling for their children, 10-year-old Yani and eight-year-old Hannah, wasn’t disrupted.

For the longer term, it’s a matter of waiting for the building assessors to check the home and then look at rebuilding.

Mr Murray was away working at the time of the storm, but said his wife, Heike, had to throw herself over their two children to protect them when the tornado – that sounded like a jet – tore its way through the northern part of Lennox Head.

The couple hasn’t been able to get back into their house to get clothes and other belongings since the storm – Heike, Yani and Hannah left with what they were wearing.

Mr Murray said he had been overwhelmed by the support of neighbours since, and also the Steiner community in Byron Bay.

They have had offers ofaccommodation, as well as donations of food and clothing. The family is currently staying in Ballina at the Ramada Hotel and Suites.

To donate to the Lennox Head Tornado Appeal, deposit into Southern Cross Credit Union account: BSB 802185, Account Number 137897.



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