Kurri Kurri clean-up continues as storm damage

Downed: Residents of Main Street, Kurri Kurri clear piles of branches which fell during the storm, damaging houses, powerlines and fences. Picture: Marina Neil
Downed: Residents of Main Street, Kurri Kurri clear piles of branches which fell during the storm, damaging houses, powerlines and fences. Picture: Marina Neil

Cessnock Mayor Bob Pynsent has seen his fair share of hectic Hunter storms. 

He rates Monday’s belter at Kurri as “right up there intensity wise”.

The mayor visited the town on Tuesday morning to observe firsthand the damage wrought by a swift and savage storm the previous afternoon.

Emergency services and council crews worked late into Monday night before starting again on Tuesday morning in a clean-up operation spanning the entire township.

Alexandra Varley, from the Maitland City State Emergency Service unit, said there had been 183 requests for assistance by 10am Tuesday. 

She said the majority of calls related to roof damage sustained during the storm, with out of area units called in to help with the clean up.

Cr Pysent said more would be known about several major buildings in the coming days, with engineers set to prepare a report after the Kurri Kurri Community Centre was inspected on Tuesday.

Two people were injured when the roof of the centre partially collapsed during the storm.

The roof was blown by wind into shop fronts across the road, causing thousands of dollars worth of damage.

The library inside the centre will remain closed until further notice. 

Cr Pysent said activities at the community centre would be transferred to Kurri Kurri Youth Centre until more was known about the building’s condition. 

The Kurri Kurri Ambulance Hall, which had the roof completely ripped off, will also remain closed until further notice.

A call will be made on its future after assessment from engineers. 

Cr Pysent confirmed that an alternate location had been found for the children who use the hall for after- school care. 

Cessnock council will waive green waste fees until November 14, making it free for residents from Kurri Kurri, Weston, Abermain and Loxford to dump debris from the storm.

While power had been restored within hours to thousands of homes impacted by the storm, residents experiencing continued electricity problems are encouraged to contact Ausgrid for assistance on 13 13 88.