Essential Energy crews work throughout the day to restore power lines.
Essential Energy crews work throughout the day to restore power lines. Jake Murray

Maclean stands strong in the face of destruction

BUSINESSES and the local community of Maclean felt the calm after the storm yesterday, as they banded together to face the aftermath of Tuesday's storm.

The storm, which hit the Lower Clarence town at around 1.40pm, caused a path of destruction.

Clarence Valley Mayor Jim Simmons, who resides in Maclean, described the storm as 'atrocious' which presented itself with heavy hail and very strong winds.

"Three houses were lifted towards Church Street," he said.

Meanwhile, Maclean Variety Meats owner John Allen described the ordeal as 'if a cyclone had hit', which led to the businessman closing his store at about 2pm on Tuesday.

Power at his business did not come back on until about 2am.

Despite this, Mr Allen said yesterday everyone in the community was getting around to help out.

"People went round just helping out and picking up rubbish and cleaning the place back up," he said.

"Whatever you could do to help without getting too much in the way is just what you did. That is what being part of a community like Maclean is all about."

Maclean-based electrician Jarred Doyle said he had been inundated with calls for repair work, following the 'mini cyclone' that tore through the town.

"We are absolutely flat out, we have got jobs backed up for the rest of the week at least," Mr Doyle said.

"It's pretty bad down here, this is probably the worst I have ever seen it. We had a pretty bad storm in the early-2000s back when I was a young fella, but this is worse than that."

Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan said in a statement that council was currently assessing the damage.

Whether the area could be declared as a natural disaster zone would be dependent on the extent of the damage.

If this was to occur, the Federal and State governments would activate the jointly funded Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements.

Mr Hogan also urged all households and businesses who suffered damage to immediately contact their insurer.

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