Northern Beaches Repair Crews and SES making progress after Hurricane like storm creates massive damage
Mini Cyclone creates massive damage to Northern Beaches
There have been calls for Sydney’s storm-hit northern beaches to be declared a disaster zone, the local council says, as hundreds of insurance claims are filed and some residents face abandoning Christmas plans for a second year.
Over 2000 homes were left without power after trees and other debris hit power lines during Sunday’s brief but intense tornado-like storm.
Northern Beaches Council’s crews were being supported by state emergency services and six other local governments but a disaster declaration was needed, the Northern Beaches council’s chief executive said.
“We are asking for the NSW government to support our council, local businesses and residents to be able to access disaster funding and support to assist as the clean-up and recovery continues,” Ray Brownlee said.
Following the storm more than 22,000 homes in the region were without power, with more than 400 seperate locations of damage to the network.
NSW Police Acting Assistant Commissioner Andrew Holland said: “there were a hell of a lot of fallen trees in the area and powerlines down”.
“The roof was ripped off numerous buildings in Narrabeen and Dee Why . It’s been very concerning for local citizens .
“It was more like a hurricane, it was that loud and strong,” according to numerous witness accounts
Mr Holland said structural engineers investigated the damaged buildings that lost their roof, but they have since been declared safe.
There was also severe damage to residential areas, from Mona Vale to Forestville, as wind speeds up to 140km/h caused tree branches to crack and to fall and spread debris.
NSW’s State Emergency Service responded toover 600 requests for assistance from 4 pm on Sunday.
“Lightning hit a massive Norfolk pine which subsequently fell, crushing and killing a woman and hitting two other women.It was an unlucky freak accident according to witness accounts.”
Fire and Rescue NSW Chief Superintendent Darryl Dunbar said the storm was “quite ferocious” and noted large trees that “snapped like a toothpick”.
“This area is a bit of a natural corridor for these weather events, but it has been some time since we’ve seen the extent of this damage,” he said.
The storm damage is still being fixed with some electricity and power connections still being reconnected on wednesday 22 december,some three days after the storm struck.