A huge hailstorm that hit Coffs Harbor and stunned residents and emergency workers on Wednesday has left a damage bill in the hundreds of millions, a local MP said.
- Hail the size of golf balls smashed Coffs Harbor after a supercell storm
- SES has received nearly 800 calls for help, mainly for damaged roofs, cracked skylights and water overflow
- The damage bill is tipped to be hundreds of millions of dollars
Today, emergency teams are working through nearly 800 calls for help after the “apocalyptic” hailstorm that devastated the NSW Mid North Coast.
The supercell swept through Coffs Harbor and its southern suburbs yesterday afternoon, dumping hail in golf ball.
Streets and front gardens resembled ski fields due to the large amount of hail that fell and caused extensive damage to homes and businesses.
“We’ve just crossed over 790 jobs since the incident began, so that puts it up there with one of the biggest, if not the biggest incidents that the Coffs Coast has seen as a result of any storm,” SES Coffs Harbor Deputy Unit Commander Martin Wells said.
“Fortunately, many of the first flood problems will have been solved by the time the ice melted and the water escaped.
“But we still have more than 720 jobs in the system to handle today,” Wells said.
Water shortages have resulted in at least four schools in the region closing their doors today as the damage is assessed.
The Insurance Board is meeting with insurance companies today to try to put a dollar figure on the claim.
Coffs Harbor MP Gurmesh Singh said the final figure would be astronomical.
Sir. Singh said his state colleagues had already approached the federal government to apply for the region to be subjected to a natural disaster declaration.
It would open up a range of opportunities for special assistance to residents and business owners.
Currently, SES, Fire and Rescue NSW and the Rural Fire Brigade are working on the backlog of jobs, which include damage to four nursing homes.
In one facility, 40 rooms have had skylights broken by hail.
Wells said there had been much reflection on the storm among members.
“One of our members who has been here for 40 years is just shaking his head in disbelief at some of the footage we have seen coming through,” he said.