Minor damage this time



MONDAY night's vicious storm may have had the kids crawling in bed with you and the dogs howling to be let inside, but compared to this time last year it was nothing more than some passing rain and a lot of noise.

It has been a year since the Coffs Coast was battered with the heavy downpours and destructive winds that got us declared a natural disaster zone and it seems Mother Nature wants another go.

A spectacular display of lightning and thunder lit up the night sky from the early evening, but thankfully only minor damage was caused.

The phone at the local SES started ringing from about 7.30pm on Monday and crews were called out to four jobs on Tuesday morning, for fallen trees on cars and houses.

The most serious of these was at Bananacoast Caravan Park, on the Pacific Highway north, when a tree fell onto a van.

At first it was thought there were two females trapped inside, but it turned out to be a lucky escape for one 18-year-old female who sought safety in the bedroom before being rescued by neighbours, uninjured.

The van was completely destroyed and was removed from the park yesterday.

For those hoping the weather experienced last October and on Monday night was simply a 'freak of nature' and would pass, think again.

According to Ashleigh Wilson, officer in charge of the Bureau of Meteorology office in Coffs Harbour, this weather is typical of the Coffs Coast region and of this time of year.

"What we are experiencing isn't out of the ordinary and is expected with the unstable conditions we have in late spring and into summer," Ms Wilson said.

Hot, humid, unsettled weather conditions and an approaching cold front or trough is the ideal conditions for severe thunderstorms, which explains what happened on Monday night.

The forecast today is a chance of an afternoon shower and thunderstorm with light to moderate north-west to north-east winds and a maximum of 29 deg.



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