Sean Power, of Powers Rego and
Sean Power, of Powers Rego and

Following Grafton storm fury

WHEN people of the greater Grafton area awakened yesterday the sun was shining and the sky was clear – a far cry from the ferocious storm the afternoon before.

With improved conditions, residents, business owners and Clarence Valley Council workers were able to begin the clean-up that involved picking up debris, covering exposed roofs and mopping up water damage.

At Power’s Rego and Mechanical on Bent Street, Sean Power and his staff downed tools and focused on covering the gaping hole exposing their workshop.

Sean said they’d been lucky no-one was inside when the roof was blown away in the wind.

He said they were even luckier the tin hadn’t injured anyone when it landed on the crossroads roundabout in South Grafton.

Four cars in the workshop were damaged and the electrics in the office were affected by water.

Council workers were also busy cleaning up. Their main focus was removing broken limbs from trees and stray pieces of corrugated iron, including the large section of tin that had blown over the hill from McLennan Earthmoving on Tyson Street and landed on the side of the Pacific Highway.

Council deputy general manager Des Schroder said the clean-up bill for council would probably approach $100,000. He said the biggest costs would be replacing the stable roof at the Grafton Pony Club, and damaged shade sails at Bimble Park and Tyson Street.

Council is offering a free service for residents to get rid of green waste arising from the storm.

Residents can drop off green waste at the regional landfill or Grafton Waste Transfer Centre for free until Sunday.

Country Energy staff had all but completed emergency response work yesterday, after around 5500 houses lost power during the storm.

Mike Hely, from Country Energy, said at one stage there were problems at the South Grafton substation when debris struck lines. Power was cut to houses as far away as Coutts Crossing, Copmanhurst, Ulmarra and Tucabia.

“But the worst affected area would have been at Clarenza, where branches had blown onto lines,” he said.

Extra Country Energy crews were called in to deal with the storm fall-out. The crews were on the job until around 2am restoring power to most homes.

“The blokes know that’s what’s expected and have a lot of experience working in severe weather events,” he said.

Grafton’s official weather bureau rainfall gauge at the Grafton pool registered 30.2 millimetres of rain on Sunday.

Keep up-to-date with the latest weather information for the Grafton area.

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