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26 May 2008, 10:04 AM UTC

Seven homes damaged in Tas storm

Seven homes damaged in Tas storm
Residents and businesses in Burnie in Tasmania's north-west have started cleaning up after being hit by flash flooding in the past two hours. A thunderstorm raged in Burnie for about an hour, causing flooding across the entire city. The main street along the waterfront is under about 20 centimetres of water and sections have been closed off. The ABC studios have been flooded and two hotels have been inundated and parts of the university campus on higher ground are also flooded. At least seven homes in nearby in Somerset were damaged and State Emergency Services were called. The Weather Bureau says 23 millimetres of rain fell in half-an-hour at Wynyard west of Burnie. The north-west SES co-ordinator, Bevis Dutton, says resources are stretched, but anyone else needing help should call immediately. "We have had a severe storm pass over Somerset with torrential rain," he said. "A number of people have called in with roofs collapsed and a lot of water through their premises, and we understand there's a lot of water on the Bass Highway itself in the Somerset area." Mr Dutton says he hopes there will be no more damage tonight.
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