Residents rally after ?tornado
By BOB ANTHONY
ON Sunday afternoon, while Tweed Coast beachgoers were enjoying the warm summer weather, residents of Piggabeen and Cobaki banded together to clear roads made inpassible by fallen trees.
The short, intense storm which brought torrential rain and hail dumped more than 75mm of rains in the Cobaki Valley, brought down trees and caused widespread power outages.
Confined to a narrow path, the storm seemed to bypass the Tweed Coast with West Tweed, Tweed Heads and the southern Gold Coast bearing the blunt of what was described as a "mini tornado".
The electrical storm also brought with it some hail to parts of the rural community.
The Piggabeen Road was completely blocked as dozens of trees came down.
However, the storm also brough out the best in community spirit with dozens of residents coming together to clear the roads.
According to Piggabeen resident Juliana Kent, it was great to see so many people coming to help out.
"There were so many trees down, it was unbelievable that no one was hurt," she said.
"It wasn't long before there were people in fourwheel-drives dragging trees out of the way, people with chain saws clearing trunks and cutting them up so other people could carry them off the road.
"What was strange was seeing people who had obviously been at the beach standing in their swimmers or with beach towels around them after such an intense storm had just passed."
In Coolangatta, patrol members of the Tweed Heads and Coolangatta Surf Life Saving had a terrifying ordeal when the beach shelter they had move into to escape the storm was picked up by a strong gust and then dumped back on the beach.
Six of the eight members on patrol were injured with a number taken to Tweed Hospital for treatment.
Coolangatta police reported that a number of power lines were brought down during the storm in Rainbow Bay, on Marine Parade and on Coolangatta Road at Kirra.
Areas of Tugun also reported some minor structural damage.