News

Ballina bashed in storm

RIGHT: Roof of the Restaurant The Pelican in Ballina has been blown off by the wind. Photo Mireille Merlet-Shaw / The Northern Star
RIGHT: Roof of the Restaurant The Pelican in Ballina has been blown off by the wind. Photo Mireille Merlet-Shaw / The Northern Star Mireille Merlet-Shaw

THERE is widespread damage in Ballina after yesterday's storm, which lashed the town with 160kmh winds and more than 135mm of rain in just eight hours.

Roofs were ripped off buildings, including Pelican 181 restaurant at Fawcett Park, the Commonwealth Bank in River St and the Ballina TAFE campus.

It is understood a number of schools went into lockdown during the peak of the extreme weather.

The Ballina State Emergency Service unit responded to almost 200 calls for help after 12.30pm yesterday.

Local controller Gerry Burnage said six members of the Broken Hill SES had been brought to Ballina in preparation for the storm, and another crew was making its way from Tweed Heads to help the Ballina unit.

The NSW Fire Brigade and four Rural Fire Service crews have also been helping out.

Traffic was affected in Hill St at East Ballina and Kingsford Smith Dr in Ballina with trees over the road.

Meanwhile, the roof at Pelican 181 restaurant was partially torn off, and Fawcett Ln was closed to traffic so the metal sheeting could be secured. Mr Burnage said crews were also sent to the Commonwealth Bank and Wigmore Arcade, both of which also suffered roof damage.

Marine Rescue Ballina commander Norm Lannoy confirmed that the rescue organisation's tower at North Wall was evacuated.

"It was shaking up there and it wasn't safe," he said.

"We've got winds of 160kmh or 80 knots - that's really heavy; that's cyclone stuff."

Trees were down across the shire, and many of the traffic lights in Ballina were not working.

The council's civil services group manager, John Truman, said crews were out as soon as possible to deal with public safety issues, such as trees across roads.

"We are just doing what we can at the moment," he said late yesterday afternoon.

"The main problem has been getting trees off the roads. The other issue is sewerage pump-outs because of the increase in inflows into the system.

"We are trying to manage that. We are flat out."

The council says the power cuts have also resulted in overflows to the sewer system.

Flash flooding also affected roads throughout the town, including the CBD.

DAMAGE LIST

Roof off at Pelican 181 restaurant, Ballina

Roof damage at Commonwealth Bank, River St, Ballina

Marine Rescue tower evacuated

Ballina Jet Boat Rescue building damaged

Roof damage at Wigmore Arcade

A number of homes with roof damage



The pacemaker cells of your gut

Restroom sign

Living Naturally: problems with the gut

Dunn eyes Millions for Group level push

TRAINING MASTERS: Matt and Keira Dunn at a Murwillumbah Racecourse race day.

Trainer eyes a cast of millions.

Pennant season out of sync?

SWING DOCTOR: Norman Carmichael, pictured with Julie Keegan, has sadly passed away.

Greg Kelly: On the mat.

Latest deals and offers

Tom Hiddleston's Instagram account hacked

Actor Tom Hiddleston

Thor star the latest celebrity targetted by hackers

Charlize Theron's son dresses up as Frozen character

Actor Charlize Theron

Star's son spotted dressed a beloved Frozen character

BOOKS: Food for thought in Caroline Beecham's latest novel

Maggie's Kitchen by Caroline Beecham is published by Allen & Unwin, RRP $29.99.

New novel reminds readers that bravery exists in many forms

TELEVISION: New show is a Survivor, for now

Jonathan LaPaglia hosts the TV series Australian Survivor.

WHAT happens when a new show with a big budget flops?

Rachel Weisz understands celebrity gossip fascination

Actor Rachel Weisz

Weisz says mystery is good for an actor

Gina Rodriguez relished dramatic change for new film

Jane the Virgin lead Gina Rodriguez

TV star shaved her hair for movie role

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m