A massive storm has ripped through several northern NSW towns, tearing the roof off one iconic pub and several other buildings, as thunderstorms brought “golf ball-sized hail” to the Blue Mountains.
Wind and rain caused significant damage in Maclean, on the banks of the Clarence River, after it hit about 1.30pm on Tuesday, the State Emergency Service said.
The tin roof of the town’s iconic Clarence Hotel in River Street was ripped off the pub and flung onto a nearby street.
A State Emergency Service spokeswoman said the town’s showground and several council buildings had also suffered roof damage.
The local SES headquarters also had its doors blown in as the organisation fielded more than 60 calls for assistance for downed trees and power outages.
Neighbouring SES crews as well the Rural Fire Service and Fire and Rescue NSW had been called in to help.
The spokeswoman said the storm lasted for about 15 minutes before hitting the nearby town of Yamba.
A severe thunderstorm warning issued by the Bureau of Meteorology remained in place at 4pm, warning of damaging winds, heavy rainfall that might lead to localised flooding and large hailstones over the next few hours.
The severe thunderstorm warning issued at 4.20pm. Photo: Bureau of Meterology
Scattered storms spread down the east coast of NSW and reached parts of western Sydney and the Shoalhaven region.
In a severe thunderstorm warning issued at 5.35pm on Tuesday, the Bureau said “severe thunderstorms” were detected on the weather radar near Richmond, Camden, Kangaroo Valley, Lake Burragorang, the Burragorang State Recreation Area and Oakdale, moving towards the northeast to southeast.
The storms were forecast to impact Narellan, Oran Park, Colo, the Wollemi National Park north of Kurrajong, Bringelly, Leppington, Menangle and Picton.
Earlier suburbs forecast to be in the storm’s path were Horsley Park, Hoxton Park, Riverstone, Fitzroy Falls, Erskine Park, Fairfield, Glenorie, Leppington, Liverpool and Karuah.
Golf ball-sized hail was reported at Bullaburra in the Blue Mountains at about 3.50pm, the Bureau said.
A video from nearby Lawson showed the large hailstones falling in a front yard. Hail in Lawson is hecticA post shared by Megan Townes (@townesy77) on Jan 1, 2018 at 8:57pm PSTSevere #storm just passed through Liddell heading NNE pic.twitter苏州美甲/cnFOe3EHJc??? Nick Moir (@nampix) January 2, 2018 Photo: Bureau of Meteorology
The Daily Examiner in Grafton reports that the storm had earlier passed through the town, causing localised flooding and long delays for motorists.
A fallen tree across Hillcrest Road has blocked the main entrance to Townsend, Gulmarrad and Brooms Head, the newspaper said.
The damage followed a nasty hailstorm on the mid-north coast on Monday, where two aged care facilities at Laurieton and Kempsey suffered roof and skylight damage.
The SES received 55 calls for assistance in and around Laurieton following hail damage. /**/