NSW SES Storm Teams Clean Up after Ex-Tropical Cyclone Uesi

A NSW SES strike team of storm damage specialists have returned from helping the people of Lord Howe Island after Ex-Tropical Cyclone Uesi smashed into the small community last week.

Winds of 155km/h tore through the Island, hurling trees through walls and roofs. One branch speared through three different rooms in one house with another large tree crushing the roof of another home entirely.

No area escaped unscathed with fallen trees and debris blocking roads and driveways across the entire island. NSW SES Strike Force Team Leader Kevin Sherwood from Port Macquarie Unit said he was proud of how quickly his team completed all 65 jobs.

“It was four days of intense work cutting up fallen trees and branches, clearing roads as well as tarping the roofs of damaged homes,” said Mr Sherwood.

Volunteer Alfred Portenschlager said that it was great feeling to help a community in need.

“The local ‘Islanders’ of Lord Howe Island were such warm and welcoming people. We were happy to be able to help make things a little bit safer for them again,” said Mr Portenschlager.

As a thank you for their help the Strike Force were invited to attend the Lord Howe Island ‘Discovery Day’ festivities on Monday 17th February. The event celebrates the Island’s history and discovery with an annual sports night. The combined NSW SES Lord Howe Island and Strike Force teams took out first prize in the Tunnel ball and Tug-O-War competitions.

NSW SES Strike Force member Leonie Stevenson said it was a great to celebrate with the community after helping to restore them to normality.

“It was a fun-filled night and great to see so many now familiar faces, coming together to celebrate less than a week after Uesi passed over the Island,” said Ms Stevenson.

“It was a honour to assist Lord Howe Island in their time of need and to work with such a positive-spirited community”.

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