Orara storm fury
By BIANCA CLARE
JOCK Shaw was left shaking his head in disbelief after experiencing the full force of mother nature yesterday.
When the Dairyville resident saw dark storm clouds closing in over Upper Orara at 10.30am, he thought he would move his car away from a 14-metre high Mexican tree fern in his front yard ? just to be on the safe side.
Moments later, when Mr Shaw was back inside his house, he heard a loud crack followed by huge crashing sound and ducked for cover.
When he finally looked up he was amazed at what had happened.
A strong wind gust had caused the Mexican tree fern to snap in half and slam down onto his house.
"It scared the life out of me," he said.
"I've lived here for 10 years and have never experienced weather conditions like this before.
"The wind seemed to come out of nowhere and then leave just as fast.
"The whole storm passed over in about 15 minutes."
The top half of the Mexican tree fern caused damage to the sun deck, the side window and frame, and the roof.
The officer in charge at the Coffs Harbour Bureau of Meteorology field office, Ashleigh Wilson, said the strong wind gusts were caused by a trough moving across north-eastern NSW.
"Ahead of a change this morning the region experienced north- to north-west winds reaching a maximum of 63km/h," Ms Wilson said.
Yesterday afternoon the Coffs Coast experienced another storm with strong northerly winds and the Coffs Harbour Bureau of Meteorology warned of a strong southerly change in the early hours of this morning.