Wild winds strike Red Rock

Red Rock Bowling Club suffered extensive damage in yesterday’s storm.
Red Rock Bowling Club suffered extensive damage in yesterday’s storm.

RED ROCK residents will be telling the story for years to come – the morning when a mini tornado struck fear into their hearts and left a trail of destruction.

Local resident Brenden Neal said a “massive water spout” came off the ocean around 5.50am yesterday and ripped off more than half of the bowling club’s roof before twisting through the village and bearing directly down on a number of homes.

“It was the loudest rain storm I’ve ever heard,” Mr Neal said

“There was a bang and 30 seconds of noise when the tornado hit.”

Mr Neal said the water spout continued west for about 2km cutting a path about 30 to 40m wide.

After smashing windows, taking down trees and twisting roller doors it dissipated over the Corindi River.

“The bowling club won’t be operating for a while and it’s not a pretty sight here.

“The cleaner was inside when it hit and it is believed she is really shaken and in shock.”

Mr Neal said power to the village was cut as the freak storm ravaged through Red Rock.

He said EssentialEnergy was yesterday telling people it could be two or three days before full power services are restored.

“Down town is a disaster zone and everyone is banding together with generators and chainsaws,” Mr Neal said.

“I’d say 10 to 15 of about 200 houses in the community were affected.”

There is speculation that the freak storm may have contributed to the death of one of the village’s senior residents.

The 78-year-old woman collapsed shortly before 7am yesterday.

Despite the efforts of crews from two ambulances she couldn’t be revived.

Corindi SES unit controller, Dennis Houghton, said they fielded 78 calls from Red Rock to Emerald Beach yesterday.“While the largest number of call outs were to Woolgoolga, the most severe devastation occurred at Red Rock,” Mr Houghton said.

He said the Corindi Rural Fire Service is working closely with the SES and doing “an excellent job”. In Woolgoolga, they responded to 30 stormwater jobs and 20 calls were due to fallen trees on homes.

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