Story & photos Richard Gates
The village of Woodburn copped a hiding during Saturday night’s savage thunderstorm with a number of buildings partially or totally destroyed by powerful winds.
Many residents of Woodburn this morning are in shock, particularly those whose houses have been badly damaged.
Not only is there extensive loss to building fabric but a number of residents have had all their possessions damaged by water.
The Woodburn Bowling Club and the CWA were also damaged and more than 1000 had power cut. Most of these have now been restored.
The one remaining Bellman Hangar at the state heritage-listed Evans Head Memorial Aerodrome was damaged by wind.
Part of the roof and one of the panels that had been put in place by Richmond Valley Council some time ago to shore up the neglected hangar were blown off with the large door panel landing in the field some 100 metres away.
This is not the first time the hangar had been exposed to extreme weather conditions and been damaged but remained substantially intact.
A similar thing happened in June 1945, when a tornado hit the same area, with damage to doors and aircraft in the hangars at the time. But the hangars remained substantially intact.
State Emergency Service and electricity workers have been flat out trying to manage the backlog of work. Electricity lines are down in many places.
The problem was not helped by the return of thunderstorms yesterday morning.
A number of properties along the Woodburn–Evans Head Road were also affected by the storm with many large trees blown down and damage caused to buildings. There was also damage at the Riverside Village at Doonbah.