Storm tempest selective

When those rolls of thunder and sheets of lightning shook the city late yesterday, rural residents south of Coffs Harbour were already busily trying to clean up the aftermath of an earlier more violent storm.

What locals have described as a mini cyclone swept through Bonville and Crossmaglen unroofing at least one house, bringing down trees and cutting powerlines and roads.

The storm hit mid-afternoon, and brought a massive old tallowwood down across the Crossmaglen Road and powerlines, blocking traffic and keeping everyone in the dark while council employees worked to clear the mess.

LEON Grace, the principal of the Crossmaglen Public School, said the storm blew in from the south-west around 2.30pm.

"It only lasted about 10 minutes but it was really violent with hail and the strongest winds I've experienced for years," Mr Grace said.

Local farmer Mark Adamson said the wind brought down massive trees, ranging from tallowwoods to jacarandas.

"It was just amazing. There was this deathly calm approach. The sky was a dark, dark green and then when the storm hit, the house just shook," Mr Adamson said.

"It was all over in a few minutes but there are trees down everywhere."

The SES received calls from a number of people in Bonville.

Gary Maloney said one house in Yarraman Road had most of its roof blown off and a tree was blown down across a house in Moody's Road.

There were also reports of trees down across the Pacific Highway at Dean's Road.

The stormfront also dropped more than 30 millimetres of rain on the Dorrigo Plateau with hail ranging from pea- to golfball-size reported by landholders from as far west as Ebor through to Bonville.

There were no immediate reports of damage from the hail.

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