Cobar cleans up after a massive storm

The shade sail at the Cobar Memorial Swimming Pool was one of the casualties from Monday night’s storm. Pictured is Angus Westaway from the L&R Group who manage the pool.

Cobar residents were still cleaning up yesterday after a severe storm on Monday night dumped 10mm of rain on the town in just four minutes.

The storm that directly hit Cobar just after 7pm on Monday brought with it torrential rain (20mm in total) and recorded wind gusts of 98km per hour.

State Emergency Service (SES) local personnel and Essential Energy crews were called out after trees fell onto roads and homes and debris, including roofing iron and vegetation, fell onto powerlines.

SES Local Controller Gordon Hill said  eight volunteers from the Cobar unit were kept busy on Monday night attending to the most urgent jobs.

He said six members also spent most of yesterday helping to clear fallen trees and branches.

“We’ve had in excess of 20 jobs.

“Most of the damage was flooding, trees blocking roads and driveways,” Mr Hill said.

“Four trees fell onto houses and caused some minor damage such as broken roof tiles and torn off gutters.”

Mr Hill said the damage was widespread across the town. SES crews helped to remove two fallen trees in Margaret Street, one very large gum tree in Rankin Street (which Mr Hill said had come out “roots and all”) and also another fallen tree in Cowper Street.

The large shade sails at the Cobar Memorial Swimming Pool in Murray Street were damaged during the storm along with a number of pool umbrella covers.

Essential Energy crews were quick to respond after Monday’s storm caused unplanned power outages for more than 1,000 households and businesses.

Essential Energy’s regional manager (northern) Mark Summers said for the safety of the public and their property, network protection equipment automatically switched power off to 953 customers at 8.17pm on Monday after sensing a problem.

“Crews were immediately dispatched to patrol the network and identify the cause of the unplanned outage,” Mr Summers said.

“Crews worked as quickly as safety allowed and, after making repairs and ensuring it was safe to do so, power was restored to all 953 customers at 9.45pm,” he said.

A number of smaller unplanned power outages also affected households and businesses in Cobar including 49 customers between 10.05pm and 10.38pm, and 59 customers for nine minutes shortly after midnight.

“The storm also caused several broken service lines, which link homes and businesses to the electricity network, and a faulty transformer most likely as a result of a lightning strike to the electricity network.”

One premise remained without electricity overnight but power was restored yesterday.