Denise Banner looks out through the hole where the rose window once stood at the Murwillumbah Catholic Hall.
Denise Banner looks out through the hole where the rose window once stood at the Murwillumbah Catholic Hall.

Storm claims hall's rose window

VICIOUS storms ripped through Murwillumbah and Tweed Heads on Monday night causing damage to trees, cutting power to more than 2000 homes and destroying the 3.2-metre rose window of the Murwillumbah Catholic Hall.

Denise Banner, from the Murwillumbah Catholic Church, said the damage was particularly heartbreaking because the window had only been replaced eight years ago.

“We refurbished the hall in 2003,” she said.

The hole where the rose window stood had been boarded up since World War II, and the new window fashioned to resemble the original rose window from 1896.

“The whole thing has blown inwards and left a huge circular hole in the wall,” Ms Banner said.

Murwillumbah State Emergency Service controller Chris Chrisostomos said there had been 18 calls to the SES during and after Monday night’s storm.

“We had a busy night,” he said.

“As soon as I got to the depot I had a call from the priest saying the circular window had blown in.”

Unfortunately, the SES was unable to secure the hole in the wall.

“When we arrived, none of our ladders were high enough to reach it,” Mr Chrisostomos said.

“It was just impossible for us to tackle it as it is so high and too dangerous to risk climbing a ladder in a storm with a tarp.

“That job will require a cherry picker with a very high boom; it will be a job for the insurance companies.”

Mr Chrisostomos said the SES had responded to calls until 9.30pm on Monday.

“We had tree work all over Kyogle Road and Byangum Road but the team got into it and we knocked it all over,” he said.

“We got in around 6.30pm and got out at about 9.30pm.”

Wind speeds for the Tweed area reached 74 km/h at 6.30pm.



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