DOWNPOUR: Hail hits Lismore and Goonellabah on October 9, 2007.
DOWNPOUR: Hail hits Lismore and Goonellabah on October 9, 2007. Jacklyn Wagner

October’s deceptively destructive history of storms and hail

OCTOBER has brought with it our first real spate of warm weather and clear blue skies, but it's a time of year that has historically been deceptively destructive.

Many of the major storm and hail cells that have wreaked havoc on our region have hit in October.

One of the most destructive in recent memory was the storm that swept through Lismore on October 8, 2007, smashing cars and shattering windows with golf-ball sized hail stones.

The weather had been warm and the sky clear blue when the wall of dark green clouds sprinted towards town in the early afternoon.

NSW SES received more than 600 requests for assistance and insurance estimates for the damage caused by the storm were pegged at about $60 million. More than 17 people were injured by hail or flying glass from smashed windows and the region was declared a natural disaster zone.

The very next day, South Lismore was hit by another storm with 6cm hail stones and 100km/h winds causing widespread damage.

In the same month, on October 26, a tornadic super-cell thunderstorm his Dunoon, tearing the rooves off more than 20 houses, uprooting trees and bringing down power lines.

In October 2012, two intense storm cells pelted Casino and Goonellabah with hail, blanketing some areas in white. At about 6pm on Sunday 14, 2012, the larger cell struck Goonellabah, narrowly missing Lismore and Lismore Heights.

The hail storm, which lasted about 10 minutes, turned the town into a "winter wonderland", according to one resident.

SES crews received about 20 call-outs, mostly for minor flooding caused by gutters backed up with hail stones.

On Wednesday October 22, 2008, Suffolk Park was pelted with a "blizzard of flying hail" that stripped vegetation and knocked out power to most of the area.

Following the storm, Byron SES responded to 34 calls, the majority of which were people with broken skylights.

While the majority of the Northern Rivers enjoyed a sunny start to spring, The Channon was walloped by hail on Sunday, September 28, 2014.

Pictures remain of roads and driveways covered in white ping-pong sized hail after a storm ripped through the Ballina area on Sunday, September 25, 2011.

West Ballina was pelted by hail again on October 8, 2013.

On October 21, 2004, a severe hailstorm dumped masses of hail in areas east of Casino through to Evans Head during the late morning.


Destructive Hail Storms

2004, October 21: Casino and Evans Head

2007, October 8: Lismore.

2007, October 9: South Lismore.

2007, October 26: Dunoon

2008, October 22: Suffolk Park

2011, September 25: West Ballina

2013, October 8: West Ballina.

2013, November 16: Byron Bay

2012, October 14: Casino and Goonellabah

2014, September 28: The Channon

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