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Hunter residents counting cost of strong wind damage

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Hunter residents are beginning to count the cost of a freak storm, which ripped through the region on Thursday night.

Winds of more than 90 kilometres an hour tore roofs off properties, led to structural collapse and brought down trees in parts of the state.

In fact, NSW State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers responded to over 100 incidents overnight on 29 February.

In the Northern Zone, which takes in everywhere from Aberdeen to Wyong and Gosford to Tweed Heads, the NSW SES answered 44 calls alone.

Clean-up efforts continue on Friday (1 March) at Singleton, Maitland, Cooranbong and Wyee, to name a few towns.

Numerous properties are still without power, which is expected to be restored later in the day.

At Tottenham, west of Dubbo, significant damage occurred at the local pub and café where a roof was blown off the building and brick walls collapsed due to high winds.

At Broken Hill, more than 16 incidents were reported to the NSW SES for fallen trees.

NSW SES crews also assisted in retrieving a vehicle trapped in flash flood waters.

Senior manager of state operations Chief Superintendent Dallas Burnes said the NSW SES was preparing for further storms from Friday afternoon and into the weekend in the northeast of the state.

“We are still in the midst of storm season, which means we are likely to see increased operational activity in the afternoon and evenings,” he explained.

“It is important people prepare for storms… simple things like securing loose items around your yard, trimming trees and branches away from properties, and cleaning your gutters.

“Flood rescue activations, fallen trees and flash flooding all likely consequences from severe weather.”

For emergency help in floods and storms, phone the NSW SES on 132 500.

In life threatening situations, contact Triple Zero (000) immediately.

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