Storm destroys years of work in minutes

THE damage caused by the storms on Sunday night is still taking its toll on residents throughout the region.

At the time of print there were still three houses without power in Moree and its surrounding areas.

Moree SES, regional deputy controller, Stephen Basham said they only received calls in the township of Moree.

“We had 30 requests for assistance. A total of 122.5 hours was spent helping residents with 16 volunteers over three days,” he said.

Meanwhile, nearly the whole village of Gurley lost power on Sunday night.

Gurley Motel licensee, Allan Young, said the power returned on Tuesday afternoon.

“The main problem with the power being out is the food that’s gone to waste from no refrigeration. People either had to eat what they could or throw the products out,” he said.

Ian MacCue’s Bellata property “Wilga” was hard hit by the storms.

“Our hay shed wall was half demolished, a roof of another shed was ripped off and a 60x40 workshop was destroyed,” he said.

MacCue said a cotton picker was even pushed over.

On top of that, two grain sheds’ rooves and walls were damaged, a wool shed was damaged, a two bedroom demountable was completely destroyed, there was damage to one of the houses and thousands of trees were snapped off.

The main power line feed from Narrabri to Moree was destroyed with three of the big power poles ruined by the storms.

“There were also four power poles blown over our property so we had no power for three days which was an inconvenience because we have a feedlot on our farm. We borrowed a generator to keep it going,” Mr MacCue said.

Along with the damage to the property, and the household food that had to be thrown out due to lack of power, Mr MacCue estimated the damage to be between 400 to 500 thousand dollars. 

“The storm just came out of nowhere, especially the wind gusts that were going 130km an hour,” he said.

The clean-up process for the MacCue’s has already begun with neighbours helping as well.

“I have been here for 35 years and have never seen anything like the storm. Thirty-five years of work rubbed out in three minutes,” he said

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