Destruction after Grafton storm

POLICE, SES volunteers and emergency services had a frantic afternoon yesterday after a powerful storm ripped through the greater Grafton region, leaving a trail of destruction behind it.

The thunderstorm struck just before 4pm.

Over a 15-minute period wind gusts of up to 90km/h were recorded at the South Grafton airport, and heavy rain, thunder and lightening pounded the region.

Powerlines were brought down, trees ripped from the ground, roofs torn off houses and flash flooding were reported throughout the greater Grafton area.

As the winds calmed, emergency services were bombarded with calls from people reporting damage to their property.

By 6pm, Grafton police had received more than 70 calls and their phone continued to ring last night.

At least two motor vehicle accidents were reported during the storm, including a car hitting a tree in South Grafton.

Although trees and corrugated iron could be seen littering the edges of the Pacific Highway, the main road remained open.

However, police reported Centenary Drive was closed because of trees on the road.

No serious injuries had beenreported last night.

The Bureau of Meteorologyissued a severe thunderstorm warning several hours before the storm hit Grafton.

The warning forecast large hailstones, damaging winds and flash flooding for people across the Northern Rivers, but the system dissipated by the time it reached Lismore and surrounding areas.



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