By MEL MARTIN
WHEN the storm hit Macksville on Wednesday afternoon, owners of Finishing Touches, Michelle and Victor Mankin, could do nothing to save their goods.
"The gutters didn't hold the water, and it was coming through lightfittings and skylights," Mrs Mankin said.
"We had no time to save anything, we were just running around with buckets emptying them as they filled up.
"It was frightening."
The Mankins lost about $5000 worth of stock, and will have to completely replace their carpet, probably another $5000 worth.
"It caused a lot of stock damage," Mrs Mankin said.
"We've lost curtains, curtain tracking, blinds, all ready to be fitted into customers' homes. We've lost lots of Christmas decorations, lay-bys, and pictures and frames.
"We're not really in the Christmas spirit."
Just down the road, store manager of The Department Store, Keith McLeod, says water was not his main problem, but rather the lightning.
"Our system is fried, and the only way this could happen is for lightning to strike the building," he said.
Nambucca Heads State Emergency Services (SES) local controller Barry Swan said the storm caused extremely heavy rain, with 120mm falling in 30 minutes at Tewinga, and heavy hail in some places.
"A number of Macksville shops and many houses were flooded. And the hailstones, which in some areas were as big as golf balls, broke windows and skylights," Mr Swan said.
"At Newee Creek, a house was partially unroofed, and lots of trees were brought down in the Rhones Creek area."
But luckily, no one was injured.