'It was like a mini cyclone'
A STORM described as a mini cyclone hit the greater Grafton district yesterday afternoon.
Police, SES volunteers and other emergency services were called into action after the storm left a trail of destruction at 4pm.
Over a 15-minute period wind gusts of up to 90 kilometres per hour were recorded at the South Grafton airport, and heavy rain, thunder and lightning pounded the district.
Seen throughout the Grafton district were powerlines brought down, trees ripped from the ground, roofs torn off buildings and flash flooding.
As the winds calmed, emergency services were bombarded with calls from people reporting damage across the district.
By 6pm Grafton police had received more than 70 calls and the phones were still ringing.
At least two motor vehicle accidents had been reported, including a car hitting a tree in South Grafton.
Although trees and corrugated iron could be seen littering the edges of the Pacific Highway, the main road remained open.
However, police reported Centenary Drive was closed due to trees down.
No serious injuries had been reported as of last night.
The number of homes and businesses damaged by the storm was substantial.
GK McLennan Transport owner Greg McLennan lost a shed during the storm at his South Grafton yard in Mackay Street.
“The bloke across the road rang me and said we’ve had what looks like a mini cyclone go through over here,” Mr McLennan told The Daily Examiner.
“It’s taken the roof off and collapsed all the walls around one of my sheds out the back there, a fairly substantial shed.”
Half of the roof at Power’s Rego and Mechanical in Bent Street, South Grafton, was blown off in the storm. Pieces of corrugated iron were found near the Bent and Ryan streets roundabout, such was the ferocity of the winds.
The Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe thunderstorm warning several hours before the storm hit Grafton.
The warning forecast large hail stones, damaging winds and flash flooding for people in the Northern Rivers and Mid-North Coast. The warning continued last night.
Keep up-to-date with the latest weather information for the Grafton region.
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