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Repairs, clean-up begin after Tamworth storm

By Catherine Clifford, Tuesday December 4, 2012 - 14:29 EDT
ABC image
South Tamworth resident, Suzanne, photographed this hail immediately after the storm. - ABC

Tamworth's largest automotive glass repairer says it's received more than 60 calls to fix smashed windscreens and car windows in the wake of yesterday's storm in Tamworth.

Branch manager, Tim McCarthy, says the company has brought in extra support from regional New South Wales to help carry out repairs.

He says most of the calls came in the first two hours after the "super cell", which delivered hail stones the size of golf balls to south-western parts of the city.

Mr McCarthy says the business is also having to work longer hours to meet the demand.

"Last night we finished after 7:00pm and tonight could be the same again, but we've got help coming in from Muswellbrook, Lismore and Tweed Heads," he said.

"We've got glass coming in overnight from our warehouse in Sydney and it's all automotive glass with the majority of it being front windscreens and rear windscreens."

The Mayor of Tamworth Regional Council, Col Murray, says the damage to Council's infrastructure from the "super cell" storm is not as bad as he had first anticipated.

He says there's been damage to several sheets of roofing at the Australian Equine Livestock and Events Centre (AELEC), and to an airport hanger at Tamworth Airport.

Col Murray says the biggest problem has been tree damage, with minimal structural damage to Council buildings.

"The staff worked well into the night gathering up limbs and trees and things from across the streets," he said.

"The stories are mainly about, you know, limbs down in back yards and broken windows and curtains trashed and carpet wet; nuisance stuff which, hopefully, doesn't cause too much grief."

Liverpool Plains Mayor, Ian Lobsey, says the rainfall from the storm has been wonderful in the Wallabadah area, where he says he has a small farm.

He says the rain gauge told a great story on Tuesday.

"Yesterday morning I saw 14mm and yesterday afternoon I saw 36mm and I went out this morning and there's been another 16mm," he said.

"I've had 52mm and, having an enterprise where I only run cattle [where] I'm not concerned about plantings or harvesting or anything like that, I'm very happy."

Meantime, the SES says it's now received 228 requests for assistance in the Tamworth area.

A meeting of the Local Emergency Management Committee has finalised its strategy for repair co-ordination.

Sixteen SES teams from Sydney, the Central Coast and Taree, as well as local SES units, are being assisted by 10 teams from Fire and Rescue NSW and the Rural Fire Service.

Acting Region Controller with the Namoi SES, Andrew Galvin, says about 150 personnel are currently on the ground.

He says they will stay in the Tamworth area until all major repairs are completed, which is expected to be around lunchtime on Wednesday.


© ABC 2012

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