SES working 'flat out'


THE calls to the State Emergency Service for storm damage began around 12.30am yesterday and are expected to continue today.

Coffs Harbour City SES controller Bob White said he had 35 to 40 SES members active since 1am yesterday and was expecting another four crews from the Northern Rivers.

"The crews have been working hard since 1am and the majority have been working two shifts with little or no sleep," he said.

"Some members worked straight through the night and then had to knock off and go to their normal daytime jobs."

Mr White said the initial calls for help were due to the high winds that blew trees onto houses causing roof and structural damage.

"There were power lines down everywhere and we had to be extremely careful when were attending to jobs," he said.

"The high winds made it impossible for us to get onto the roofs to place tarps."

The RTA, Country Energy, the council, local fire brigades and the Rural Fire Service (with more than 60 members and 15 tankers) also assisted the SES.

The NSW Ambulance Service reported no injuries as a result of the storm and Coffs Harbour police were kept busy with traffic control and assisting home owners.

Mr White said the SES crews were in clean-up mode and had fielded more than 440 calls by mid-afternoon yesterday.

"We are assessing jobs by priority and as people inspect their property we expect to receive more calls," he said.

Residents needing SES assis- tance should phone 132 500.

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