All of this in 15 minutes!

By KUE DAVIS and CRAIG McTEAR

COFFS Harbour was hit with strong winds and heavy rains yesterday afternoon, making it a busy one for the State Emergency Service.

In no more than 15 minutes at 2pm yesterday, there were roofs ripped from houses, branches down across roads and several ceiling collapses around Coffs Harbour.

One unlucky resident was Dell McAller who was sitting in her lounge room when a branch came from the next door neighbour's gum tree and landed on her roof.

The Anne Street resident heard a rip, and then a bang.

"I always go to the back of the house when there's a storm, because I'm always fearful of that tree," she said.

"It was absolutely frightening. I'm just glad that it hit the roof of the verandah, and not the bedroom."

The branch travelled approximately 45 metres from Tom and Nancy Strickland's yard next door.

"It must have come down, hit our roof and bounced over into Dell's yard. There are a few broken tiles on our roof," Mr Strickland said.

The SES was also called out to properties in Korff and Hill Streets, where parts of roofs had blown off houses, and to a hair salon in Harbour Drive which had part of the ceiling collapse.

The weather bureau recorded 22mm for Coffs Harbour in the six hours to 3pm yesterday, with rain continuing to fall late afternoon.

The storms had their genesis in the hot air which moved in from the west.

"It's grabbed the moisture in the atmosphere and it's continued to push that hot air up to develop those thunderstorms," Ashleigh Wilson from the Coffs Harbour Bureau of Meteorology said.

A few showers are forecast for today, while tomorrow has rain and the chance of thunderstorms in store.



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