24.9°C 03:00 pm

Clean up begins after terrific storm lashes city

Friday, 5th October, 2018

A huge West Australian Salmon Gum fell down at Alma School on Wednesday night. More than 100 years old and thought to be one of the biggest trees in Broken Hill, Alma’s Barry Delbridge (left) and Semitj Hopcraft were preparing to clean it up yesterday morning. PICTURE: Callum Marshall A huge West Australian Salmon Gum fell down at Alma School on Wednesday night. More than 100 years old and thought to be one of the biggest trees in Broken Hill, Alma’s Barry Delbridge (left) and Semitj Hopcraft were preparing to clean it up yesterday morning. PICTURE: Callum Marshall

By Emily Roberts

A lightning fast downpour on Wednesday night dropped 30 millimetres of rain on the city in about 30 minutes, keeping emergency crews busy, especially in South Broken Hill.

After winds picked up dust on Wednesday afternoon, it was quickly washed away by a downpour which matched the yearly total for the city.

The Bureau of Meteorology said this was a huge amount of rain for Broken Hill.

“During the rain event, including the storm, Broken Hill received 34.2mm all up,” a spokesman said.

“This was quite a lot because the city had no rain in the last month and for the whole year had only received 30.8mm.

The spokesman said the rain was caused by a trough that moved across the state and brought the rain with it.

“In Broken Hill, there was a storm cell that developed on top of that trough causing the rainfall.

“It came down quickly ... there was about 30mm in 30 minutes.”

There looks to be more rain on the horizon with forecasts predicting a millimetre or two on Tuesday.

The whole region received a decent downpour with Menindee receiving 50.4mm, Ivanhoe receiving 40.2mm and Pooncarie receiving the most in the state at 53mm.

The BOM spokesman said the dust storm previous to the rain was caused by strong wind gusts of up to 109 km/h.

“It was strong enough to lift the dry dust off the ground,” he said.

“The winds are expected to ease and will be light (on Friday).”

Emergency services were also kept busy and attended many callouts throughout the night.

SES local controller Josh Harvey said they had 37 callouts for roof damage and trees that were down.

“We’ve had some calls for blocked gutters and things like that,” Mr Harvey said.

“South Broken Hill was the worst affected, we saw a lot of damage in Morish Street and the Duff Street areas.”

Mr Harvey said about 20 volunteers worked through the night and were up and ready to go by 7.30am yesterday morning.

“We completed most of our jobs by midnight and jobs started coming in again at 7.30am.

“It has eased off, but the wind is still causing some dramas.”

One local woman received a shock when the wild winds took parts of her roof and caused a tree to crash in her back yard.

Jen Charnock said the winds took out her front verandah as well as roofing sheets from the top of her house.

“There was a huge gum tree with branches in our neighbour’s yard that fell off and landed on our back fence.

“The tree also clipped the back verandah. The yard is littered with trees.”

Jen said she did call the SES, but her husband and a few friends ended up fixing the roofing sheets.

“We were worried it was going to rain again.

“We will have to look at getting rid of the tree eventually as well as an insurance claim for the house.”

It wasn’t all bad news however.

“At least we did get some rain,” Jen said.

© Copyright 2020 Barrier Daily Truth, All Rights Reserved. ABN: 38 684 603 658