Storms wreak havoc in region
MT DRUITT residents and State Emergency Services are still mopping up after the area was the worst affected in a violent storm that swept through Sydney last week.
Hundreds of cars and homes were damaged by fallen trees and thousands were left without power.
Mt Druitt SES received 411 calls for assistance on Thursday afternoon, which was the largest number in the state.
Mt Druitt SES captain Peter Lalor said it was the worst damage he had seen in the area.
“This was the most extensive damage I have seen in Mt Druitt since I began working here in 1985,” Mr Lalor said.
“Volunteers from all over the state, from Muswellbrook to Molong and from Strathfield and the Hawkesbury, have been aiding in the clean-up.”
Although the SES had attended to most of jobs, Mr Lalor said the clean-up was ongoing.
“The clean-up is going to take years – there are thousands of trees down. But we only have about four or five jobs left to attend to,” he said.
Mr Lalor advised storm-affected residents not to contact their local SES unit, but to phone 13 25 00.
“If you are affected by storm damage still, please ring 13 25 00 – do not ring the local SES unit,” he said.
“If it is engaged or busy, please hang in there. It is imperative you use that number so we get the message as quickly as possible.”
In Whalan, Linda Bocxe narrowly avoided being hit by a tree that crashed into her home.
“I just moved from that corner of the house, where the tree came through in the sunroom,” Ms Bocxe said.
“I would have been knocked out and crushed. It was lucky the rest of the family was at work. It was only me and my youngest home. I was trying to keep an 11-year-old from going hysterical.”
Ms Bocxe said she was just glad no one was injured, but she did not have home and contents insurance.
“I was standing at the front and a trampoline blew up the road,” she said.
“Next minute, there was a massive bang and a tree came through the sunroom, kitchen and loungeroom. Since then, one has gone through my eldest son’s bedroom.”
Rain damage also caused a section of ceiling to collapse at Mt Druitt Westfield.
The ceiling fell on to the floor outside Woolworths and a nearby TeleChoice phone store.
The area was closed off by staff as the area beneath started to fill with water.
Mt Druitt resident John Svoboda witnessed the event and said the falling ceiling just missed shoppers.
The entrance to Mt Druitt Westfield, on the corner of Carlisle Ave and Kurrajong Rd, also was badly flooded in the storm, leaving cars and shoppers stranded.
Mt Druitt SES used social media to thank residents for their time during the cleanup.
“Support from local residents and businesses has been gratefully received and I also thank the families of all the SES and RFS volunteers for letting us ‘borrow’ their partners, fathers, mothers, sons, daughters and friends,” Mr Lalor said.
This was the most extensive damage I have seen in Mt Druitt since I began working her in 1985
– PETER LALOR
Cars in Luxford Rd, at Mt Druitt, felt the full effects of the storm (above) as trees were felled by the strong winds (right) and crashed into carparks, roads and into houses.