Australia Day storm leaves trail of damage
Canberra's Australia Day storm
Bob Goodall of Florey has a look at his next door neighbours' pergola roof that landed in his driveway during the storm on Saturday. Photo: Colleen Petch
Hundreds of Canberrans spent Sunday clearing their properties and counting the costs of a wild storm that caused flash flooding and damaged homes across the city on Saturday evening.
The ACT State Emergency Service received more than 630 calls for assistance as a result of the storm, with fallen trees and branches, and flooding.
By late Monday morning, there were 46 outstanding calls for assistance left for SES crews to complete. Fresh crews were responding to the jobs.
Neale Fraser, of the Bureau of Meteorology, said Saturday night's storm had dumped nearly 56 millilitres of rain on Tuggeranong between 6.30pm and 7.30pm.
The bureau is forecasting up to another 20mm of rain for Canberra on Monday, saying there is a 70 per cent chance of rain.
SES policy and planning manager Tracey Allen said six SES crews and three Rural Fire Service crews worked to clear the damage caused by the storm.
''The most serious jobs we've seen so far were trees through roofs, with extensive damage of the roof tiles, structural damage to some houses and to other parts of the roof, pergolas and fences,'' she said.
Ms Allen said the worst-hit suburbs were in Belconnen, including Florey Charnwood and Cook. In the ACT, an SES volunteer and a member of the public were injured during the storm and there were four minor car accidents.
Residents of Florey, Hawker, Evatt, Kaleen, Latham, Macgregor, Flynn, Melba, Spence and Weetangera were still without power on Sunday afternoon due to disruptions caused by the storm.
ActewAGL general manager networks services Rob Atkin said the utility was still repairing damage inflicted by the storm to the electricity network on Monday.
As of 9.30am, about 120 homes were without power - 100 of them in Aranda, because of severe storm damage to an electricity substation. Another 20 customers across the north of Canberra had no power because of trees interfering with service lines.
“We have called on all available resources and crews are working as quickly as possible to restore the electricity supply. We expect that supply will be restored in Aranda today," Mr Atikin said.
“We expect to continue to receive calls today, as customers return home from their long-weekend vacations and find that their power is off due to storm damage."
He said it was important that people stayed away from fallen or lower powerlines or any objects, such as as fences or trees, that were in contact with them, as they could conduct electricity.
“Report any damage you see to electrical and gas infrastructure to ActewAGL’s emergencies and faults numbers, 13 10 93 for electricity and 13 19 09 for gas,” he said.
Florey resident Bob Goodall was preparing to sit down to a dinner of sardines on toast at around 6.30pm before the roof of his neighbour's patio landed in his driveway.
"It sounded like there was a train coming through the house, the noise was really frightening," he said.
The 80-year-old retiree and stroke survivor was thankful his 20-year-old grandson who lives with him was out to dinner at the time otherwise his car would have been sitting underneath what is now a pile of tin and steel.
Mr Goodall, who has lived in his home since 1985, was thankful nobody was injured and there was no serious damage caused to any houses or vehicles. However a fence was crushed as the wind flipped the roof and sent it flying into Mr Goodall's yard.
He said his grandson, who was working on night shift, was shocked when he returned home early Sunday morning to find the roof from next door, which was erected two years ago, sitting in a twisted mess in the driveway, less than a metre from his prized motorbike.
Meanwhile, in Cook a large tree crashed into a house causing significant damage to the roof and outdoor area.
According to neighbour Les Kingsley the owners were forced to leave the house after the tree came down shortly before 7pm as all electricity had to be cut and the roof began
leaking. A barbecue was smashed and glass table was shattered in the backyard during the storm.
TAMS encouraged all cyclists who plan on using the city's bike paths during the long weekend to be cautious of storm debris.
The Oaks Estate low-level crossing has been reopened after being closed overnight to allow contractors to remove debris on the crossing safely.
Meanwhile three ACT volunteers left Canberra for Queensland on Sunday night to assist with the emergency response to flooding
Red Cross Queensland requested the help of the mapping specialists, who will work out of the state command centre in Brisbane on a five-day deployment.
ACT Emergency Services commissioner Dominic Lane said in situations like those found in Queensland mapping specialists would usually help by mapping where residents were affected by flooding, working out where roads were closed and surveying and plotting damage.
''They're a very dedicated team, and they're very experienced and they're able to provide a lot of support to the Queensland community,'' he said.
A severe thunderstorm warning was issued on Sunday but withdrawn by 9pm. The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast isolated showers for Monday.