Grafton Pony Club president Alan Watkins and president of the users group Alan Stewart look at the damage to the pony club sheds after Sunday evening’s storm.
Grafton Pony Club president Alan Watkins and president of the users group Alan Stewart look at the damage to the pony club sheds after Sunday evening’s storm.

Calm returns to Grafton

THE storm which cut a swathe through South Grafton on Sunday afternoon could have been disastrous for the Grafton Pony Club.

Thirty of the club’s junior members narrowly escaped injury after the corrugated iron roof tore off the stables minutes after the youngsters ran for safety.

Grafton Pony Club president Alan Watkins said it could have been much worse.

“We were holding a sign-on day which involved about 30 kids when all of a sudden the storm struck,” Mr Watkins said.

“We got them out of the ring five minutes before the storm ripped off the roof of our stables. The kids managed to take shelter in the canteen area. They were very lucky.

“You can replace the roof but you can’t replace the kids and horses.”

The Hawthorne Park complex looked like a war zone with trees uprooted and debris strewn across the main arena.

Clarence Valley Council estimates it will cost $40,000 to repair the damage.

Mr Watkins said the corrugated iron roof blown off in the storm could have caused more carnage if not for a single telegraph pole which took the full brunt of the impact.

“The telegraph pole probably saved us from further damage. It took most of the impact and stopped the roof from landing on our newly erected campdraft canteen,” he said.

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