Australia, Red Rock NSW: Tornado hits NSW town
We've had some wild weather in NSW the last few days (along with NZ EQ and volcanic ash disruptions)
And now this:
A small tornado has hit a small coastal town in northern New South Wales, as wild weather continues to batter the region.
Residents say the whirlwind hit Red Rock, north of Coffs Harbour, shortly before 7:00am (AEST).
The Red Rock bowling club lost part of its roof and about 10 homes were also damaged in the small town.
Joe Hanson lives across the road from the bowling club.
"The tornado or waterspout or whatever it was it cut across through the dunes, across the bowling club, took the roof, then went into a couple of houses across the main street of Red Rock and lifted the roof off one of those houses," Mr Hanson said.
"That's a brand new house so they've lost their roof. Just left a path of destruction, so pretty full on. Yeah, it was intense."
The tornado is part of a larger weather system that is continuing to bring heavy rainfall and strong winds to the NSW mid north coast.
There is a flood watch for the entire coast from the Clarence to the Wyong River Valleys, while the severe weather has forced the closure of a number of local roads and bridges and rising floodwaters have isolated some upriver communities.
There is also a major flood warning for the Bellinger River, with major flooding expected at Thora. A major-to-moderate flood warning is also in place for the Hastings River.
Another Red Rock resident, Sue Miller, says the weather had already been atrocious.
"We had torrential rain all night and then all of a sudden it got extremely extremely heavy and we heard loud bangs and minor explosive things happening and then realised that roofs had been taken off houses," Ms Miller said.
"It was just getting light and in fact as soon as it happened everything went quite quiet and the rain virtually stopped. It was quite eerie for a bit there."
Dennis Houghton, from the State Emergency Service, says communities at Sandy Beach, Emerald Beach and Woolgoolga were also hit hard.
"From fairly substantial roof damage through to general roof damage in areas around Woolgoolga and Corindi, and also a lot of water damage, where we're doing a lot of sandbagging at the moment," Mr Houghton said.
"Normally the area does OK in heavy rain, but when we get extremely strong winds with that, that's when we tend to get significant damage."
There are no reported injuries from the storm.