By ADRIAN MILLER
THURSDAY'S storm through the streets of Maclean might have created a trail of devastation, but the spirit of residents is unbroken.
As snapped trees, broken branches, destroyed signs and missing roofs littered the streets, townspeople went about the clean-up job with a minimum of fuss and often with a smile and a joke.
Ray Noble, who's car was crushed by a fallen tree branch, laughed off the seriousness of the situation.
"What are you gonna do, there's no use crying about it," he said.
"Those poor buggers who lost their roofs are much worse off than us, I'm just glad no one was badly injured."
Ulmarra Street resident Alick Locke's garage was destroyed, with the roof being tossed down a hill and into a paddock, but he was philosophical in his appraisal.
"What can I do about it?," he said. "Mother nature unleashed her fury and we can't do anything about it."
Mr Locke said the savageness of the storm was unbelievable.
"It was frightening," he said.
"I thought about what happened later and I just went cold.
"I was watching from inside and if I stepped outside while it was happening I would have ended up in the tree with the guttering."
Motel Maclean owner Joanna Halioris had roof sheets ripped from her motel, two pine trees uprooted and her motel sign crushed by a fallen tree.
"Water came pouring in the front and you couldn't see a thing," she said.
"There's a big hole in the roof of room 10 and those sheets have ended up in the pool and two huge pine trees are in my neighbours yard.
"I just sat here dumbfounded, it was devastating."
At BP Maclean, manager Shane Henwood watched in awe as the storm nearly tore the roof from his house and littered the area with debris.
It even drove a six-foot long steel star picket straight through a wooden wall.
"The storm was just massive, it was unbelievable," he said.
"We had a storm about six years ago when caravans were lifted from the ground but this was 10 times stronger than that.
"I can't believe what it's done, didn't it make some mess?"
Hillcrest was hit particularly badly, with one massive tree crushing a bus parked in the area.
Residents Tiffany Donnelly and Gloria Mercy were horrified by the storm.
"It was so scary," Ms Donnelly.
"I was stuck in my car and had to lay on my back with my feet on one window and my hand on the other holding it to make sure it didn't smash in.
"It frightened the daylights out of us."
Mrs Mercy said the speed of the storm was chilling.
"The wind just came up, I thought it was going to smash through the window with all the wind and hail," she said. "I'm so thankful no one got hurt."