Cyclonic winds hit Cowra in Friday afternoon storm

Cowra was the most impacted shire in NSW by what some residents described as a “mini cyclone” during a storm front which swept across the state on Friday afternoon.

A large tree fell on this home in Taronga Drive at the height of Friday's storm.

A large tree fell on this home in Taronga Drive at the height of Friday's storm.

The storm brought winds of close to 100km/hr to Cowra.

“Cowra was the most affected Council area in the state for storm damage,” Cowra SES controller Ray Johnston said on Monday.

The top wind speed recorded at the Cowra Airport was detected at 4.35pm on Friday when a west to southwest gust of 98 km/hr was measured by the Bureau of Meteorology.

Cyclonic wind conditions are described as sustained winds of 63 km/h or greater and gusts in excess of 90 km/h.

The Cowra SES responded to 25 requests for help across Friday afternoon and Saturday.

The Rural Fire Service, Cowra Police and Cowra Shire Council all contributed to the clean up.

In it’s wake the storm left trees through house roofs, on cars, across roads and throughout parks and caused significant damage to the roof at the Cowra Aquatic Centre.

The centre was closed on Friday afternoon as staff and emergency service personnel conducted a clean up but was open again for swimming on Saturday afternoon.

Cowra Police said it was “lucky no one was injured during the height of the storm”.

Mr Johnston praised the effort of the SES and other services in the clean up.

“We were actually at a job in Darbys Falls before the storm hit,” Mr Johnston said.

“The worst of the damage was to a house in Taronga Drive, the roof at the pool and a house in Jindalee Circuit.”

Four residents who were away on Friday returned on Saturday to find fallen trees in their backyards with the SES called out to a further four jobs.

“Cowra had 25 calls for assistance with all jobs completed by 3pm on Saturday.

“We were actually the worst hit shire in the state,” he added.

Mr Johnston thanked Waugoola and Kangaroo Flat RFS Brigades as well as the Cowra Shire Council staff for their assistance and quick response to the areas affected and the community of Cowra Shire for their own self resilience between neighbours helping each other.

He has also reminded Cowra residents that even though we are in drought and summer is fast approaching there is always the chance of storms and they can be severe.

“Now would be a good time to look at your yards and around you home for anything that could be affected by a storm,” he said.

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