Urunga hit by violent storm

A VIOLENT storm cut a narrow swathe of destruction south of Urunga on Friday night between 10pm and 10.30pm.

Urunga SES senior rescue officer Peter Butt said the storm appeared out of nowhere and 'blasted' through late in the evening.

"High winds smashed trees onto the highway, closing it near Martells Road," Mr Butt said.

"RTA staff and about 10 truckies worked with our crew to clear the highway and remove the widow makers (hanging branches) from nearby trees.

"We had to get a cherry-picker in to help and we didn't finish until about 4.30am."

Mr Butt said SES crews continued the clean-up on Saturday, removing fallen trees, branches and debris from eight other locations.

"We sure have had plenty of chainsaw practice," he said.

Country Energy received calls about power outages in the Bellingen, Kalang, Brierfield, Urunga and Valla areas. According to regional general manager Andrew Latta, high winds brought quite a number of wires down in the affected areas.

"Crews worked through the night, but due to the extensive damage and widespread nature of the issues, some areas remained without power for up to 12 hours," he said.

A spokesman for the Bureau of Meteorology said the event was very localised, caused by a storm moving from the ranges and intensifying when it hit the coast.

"It was an isolated thunderstorm that hit a very narrow area of the coast."

Mr Butt urged people to be aware of keeping safe during this storm season.

"Look up, look down and all around," he said.

"And stay away from creeks and drains and please contact someone if you see any problems."



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