Sharpes Beach as the storm brews overhead. P
Sharpes Beach as the storm brews overhead. P Rodrigo Cassiano

Storm like '20 minutes of hell'

A STORM which ripped across a narrow band of the Northern Rivers yesterday afternoon has been described by one Ballina resident as "20 minutes of hell."

Garry Palmer was working in his Ballina Bait and Tackle shop when a storm of hail and torrential rain hit.

"It was horrendous," said Mr Palmer, who survived Cyclone Tracy which levelled Darwin in 1974.

The Northern Star received several reports of cars sustaining damage due to large hailstones.

The Ballina ProAm was called off after the golf course became inundated with lager hailstones

Wind gusts of 82kmh, recorded at Ballina Airport during the peak of the storm, proved so strong it lifted rooves and blew rubbish through the town.

The State Emergency Service reponded to 83 calls for assistance in Ballina, most were related to roof or skylight damage with one team from Mullumbimby, three from Tweed, and four teams from Ballina.

Ballina residents reported ankle deep hailstones.

Yesterday afternoon, several Ballina residents sent in pictures of hail captured on their mobile phones. The images depicted scenes more like winter in New York, than Ballina is spring.

And while for some the storm was traumatic, others delighted in the unseasonal hail.



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