Tornado rips roof off house in Guyra, north-eastern NSW

23 November 2013 9:55 AM

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Tornado rips roof off house in Guyra, north-eastern NSW

At least one home has been destroyed by a tornado in north-eastern New South Wales, with severe thunderstorm warnings remaining in place tonight.

Damaging winds and rain are keeping the State Emergency Service busy, with 179 calls for help.

Alexander Martin was on his porch in Guyra near Armidale when the tornado hit this afternoon.

He says the storm ripped trees from the ground and that his 70-year-old neighbour was lucky to escape unhurt.

"All of a sudden [there was] this roaring, like an express train going through, and we went out on to our patio and looked and we could see debris flying about in the air.

"Our neighbour lives about 800 yards away from us, and it took her house and sheds out.

"The house has been totally wrecked and apparently she put a pillow over her head and got in the lounge room".

SES spokesman Todd Burns says the home's occupants and nearby residents were lucky to escape injury.

"It's fairly sparsely populated out there and the tornado was fairly localised and didn't last for long, so at this stage it looks like just that one house that sustained that sort of damage."

The Bureau of Meteorology is warning of flash-flooding and heavy hail from the mid-north coast up and across to the north-west slopes and plains.

It says Lismore, Byron Bay and towns in the surrounding area will be affected.

A spokesman for the NSW Rural Fire Service says there are a number of homes near Guyra that have minor damage and some with major damage.

There are no reports of injuries. The State Emergency Service is calling in extra volunteers.

Damaging weather is also predicted for the south coast and snowy mountains regions.


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