Wind gusts, hail damage homes in Australia

Oct. 29, 2013 at 8:23 AM

SYDNEY, Oct. 29 (UPI) -- Gale-force winds ripped the roofs off homes, and brought down trees and power lines as a storm lashed Sydney and Australia's central coast, officials said.

Becky Gollings from the State Emergency Service said the worst of the storm appeared to be over and officials are cleaning up the destruction left by the strong winds.

"So it'll just be a case of our crews responding to these incoming calls as they come through the call center," Gollings said.

"A child care centre in Port Macquarie with some roof damage, some trees down in Lansvale (in Sydney) and quite widespread [damage] across the city," she added. "Places like Newtown where power lines have come down and businesses with their roofs off."

Meanwhile, hail storms pummeled the mid-north coast at Gloucester and Port Macquarie, and the northwest near Armidale, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported Tuesday.

"A number of properties had their roofs damaged by hail," said State Emergency Service Deputy Region Controller Tony Day. "We have a number of volunteer crews out there now assisting residents with shoring up their properties and we expect more thunderstorms this afternoon as well."

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