Thunderstorm hits Coffs Coast on Tuesday night.
Thunderstorm hits Coffs Coast on Tuesday night.

Furious storm wreaks havoc

THE thunderstorm that struck the Coffs Coast on Tuesday night generated winds of up to 100km/h, damaged roofs and brought down powerlines and trees.

As the coast battered down to one of the largest lightning shows seen for some time around 7.30pm, several roads were blocked by fallen trees and branches.

Coffs Coast Advocate photographer Bruce Thomas captured the powerful storm cell, as it whipped up waves off Sawtell over the ocean.

The weather bureau observations showed the thunderstorm front hit fast and furiously in Coffs Harbour at 7.38pm.

Gusts were recorded as high as 98km/h at the height of the storm.

By 8pm the winds had backed off considerably, as the system blew out to sea.

The State Emergency Service, the Coffs Harbour, Bellingen and Nambucca councils, the RTA and Country Energy crews were called to dozens of incidents across the region.

"Coffs Harbour crews responded to eight jobs where a number of roofs were damaged and several incidents where trees were down," SES Coffs Harbour Local Controller Bob White said.

"It could have been a lot worse going by the radar where there was a lot of red and yellow in those storm clouds indicating heavy rain, but it appears to have crossed the coast quite quickly."

Power was out in the Bellingen and Urunga areas for several hours.

Essential formerly Country EnergyEnergy crews responded to downed powerlines at Brierfield.

Fallen trees also led to road closures on the Waterfall Way and the Gleniffer, Valery and Repton roads.

Bellingen SES crews responded to two jobs while Urunga crews were called to four incidents.

"A large tree was brought down blocking the Repton Road, near the Repton Caravan Park, and there was also a tree down on the Valery Road," Urunga SES rescue officer Greg Newcombe said.

Gale force winds were followed by heavy rain across the region. 

The Bureau of Meteorology reported that Coffs Harbour received 10mm of rain, Dorrigo 6mm, Nambucca Heads 20mm and Woolgoolga 25mm.

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