THE trail of destruction left by the Dubbo tornado was massive and emergency workers, other volunteers and residents were clearing the wreckage yesterday at 16 significantly damaged properties.
The tornado battered houses, tore off roofs, blew sheds off foundations, uprooted trees and threw garden furniture and even a trailer around like children's toys. A truck was even tipped over and blown 75 metres. Residents described the noise of the tornado like a truck, a train or warplane as it raced over Mugga Hill and down Whitewood Road about 5.15pm on Monday to Eulomogo Road and the Firgrove area before it finally petered out.
"The SES hasn't had any reports of injuries which is great news when you look at some of the damage that's been done," Macquarie SES deputy region controller Phil Lalor said.
Power and some telephone services were cut as residents and families sheltered in houses and the storm cut a trail 200 metres wide, flinging debris 100 metres further on each side.
The SES was called to 16 properties.
"While that's not a large number of jobs, the jobs have been quite extensive. There was significant damage to a number of residential properties, properties losing roofs. There were a number of trees down on residences as well," Mr Lalor said.
"At one site I attended a large-sized truck had been tipped over and blown 75 metres.
"It's quite freaky at some places to see some of the houses have no damage at all and one not too far away has been totally destroyed.
"We've had assistance from Dubbo City Council clearing trees across the road around the Richmond Estate area.
"I've been in Dubbo in emergency services response for about 20 years and I haven't seen anything in Dubbo like this before.
"It was a very intense windstorm in a very focused area.
"Some people described the result as what they would imagine a bomb going off would look like. There were pieces of corrugated iron wrapped around trees.
"We are hoping our emergency response will be completed this evening. Of the 16 jobs we have, four are outstanding. One is quite substantial.
"The SES is involved in providing temporary repairs. People need to contact their insurance companies for permanent repairs.
Mr Lalor said: "One of the great things that has occurred out of this is all of the (volunteer) responses have been locals from Mudgee, Dubbo and Wellington.
"We saw that today. Mates are pulling together and helping out mates.
"It's a timely reminder to think about the storm season and prepare your property. If people are looking for information on how to prepare their properties for storms they can go to the NSW SES website."
Deputy NSW Premier and Dubbo MP Troy Grant said: "The tornado was actually very close to my place, the kids sent through photos to me and we lost power."
"It does show the freak nature of storms."
"A massive thank you has to go to the SES and the volunteers for all the hard work they did. Myself, and I'm sure everyone, really appreciates their efforts."
"When we are most in need they really step up and show their worth to the community."
"I'm just very thankful no one was killed or seriously injured."