Tree spears into kitchen as family prepare lunch
THREE young children and their parents are lucky to be alive after a huge tree crashed through the roof of a Byron Bay home on Saturday.
The bureau issued a severe weather warning for heavy rain on Saturday for the Northern Rivers, with Lismore, Coraki and Bungawalbyn all experiencing minor flooding.
Kyla Reid said about 1pm she was in the kitchen making lunch for her children Kiana, 6 and Jarrah, 7, her partner Philip Remington and his son Noor, 5, when she saw the massive ironbark fall.
Ms Reid said when the tree fell on the Cemetery Rd rental property there was "not a breath of wind blowing".
"I had just taken some sandwiches around the side of the kitchen island bench and I heard the first branches hit the roof," she said.
"It's all glass along that side of the house and I looked out to see the trunk of the ironbark falling toward the house."
"At that point I screamed and turned around and looked at the kids who were sitting at a glass table behind the kitchen bench."
She said the quick reactions of the children and her partner may have saved their lives.
"The tree came through the roof and speared through the kitchen bench, stove and floor and moved the bench about one and a half metres toward where the children were sitting eating their lunch."
"My partner, who was also in the kitchen making lunch, luckily put his arm up and was knocked to the ground by the tree and got a big gash on his arm."
"If he had tried to go around the kitchen bench to the right he would have been pinned against the wall by the kitchen bench which ended up wedged against the wall."
"It was a very close shave; he just missed being really seriously hurt."
Ms Reid attributed the tree falling to its shallow root base and the sodden clay earth it was growing in.
"Even though it was a huge strong living tree the root system, which was about one-and-a-half metres across, was inadequate."
Ms Reid said the efforts of the SES and Tallow Tree Services along with the support offered by neighbours was amazing.
With the home deemed unsafe to occupy and her children enrolled at school at Byron Bay, Ms Reid said she hoped to find another house to rent in the town.
A crane was used to remove the fallen tree yesterday afternoon.
Northern Rivers weekend rain:
- Ballina 119.6mm
- Byron Bay 122.6mm
- Casino 90.2mm
- Evans Head 106mm
- Kyogle 67mm
- Lismore 94.2mm
- Goonengerry 168mm