Shire cleans up after wind storm



WILD winds around Bellingen Shire on Saturday night brought down trees and power lines, started fires, left residents on the south side of Bellingen without power for two hours and kept the SES and local bush fire brigades busy.

Bellingen SES representative Ian Thomas said his team attended two incidents of trees falling on roofs, one in North Bellingen and one at Sunny Corner.

At Urunga, a tree fell across Old Punt Rd, landing on a car and taking power lines from a neighbouring house with it.

Urunga SES deputy rescue officer Peter Butt said the situation was extremely critical because there was no sparking from the lines.

"It is vital that people keep their wits about them in high winds, because you never know what's coming towards you," Mr Butt said.

"Don't touch any wires, even if you think they are phone lines."

In Fernmount a fire started when power lines came down in bush near houses on Mount Street.

Resident Louise Connor said within minutes of a blackout she noticed smoke and already the fire had taken off up the hill and was within metres of a neighbouring house.

"It happened so fast. We ran up to the house and were belting flames with wet towels until the fire brigade could get through," Mrs Connor said.

Rural Fire Service brigades also attended a number of other fires.



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