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No time to act for Kurnell residents after the sky turned black

Beverley Bultitude starts the clean up outside her Kurnell home. Photo: Peter Rae Storm damage at Kurnell Photo: Peter Rae
杭州桑拿

Storm damage at Kurnell. Photo: Chris Lane

There was not even time for Beverly Bultitude to shut all the windows in her beachfront Kurnell home before the sky turned black.

“It went black and then the wind started,” said the life-long Shire resident, now aged in her seventies.

“It was sudden. Just very, very sudden. I went to close the windows at the front and then had to run to close the windows at the back but the water was already coming through.”

“Then it was the hail stones, they were the size of golf balls banging on the roof

“The winds just spun around, lifted everything up and have thrown sand all through my house. I’ve got broken glass at the front and I’ve got my neighbours concrete roof tiles in my bedroom on the floor.”

The destructive winds, with gusts of up to 213km/h, hit Kurnell at 10:30am tearing off roofs, up-rooting trees and power poles as it beat a destructive path through the southern Sydney suburb.

The entire suburb lost power with services not expected to be restored until Thursday. Extra police officers have been sent to the suburb to help residents keep safe overnight and sight-seers at bay.

Mrs Bultitude said Kurnell now resembled a “real mess” with the storm hitting with very little warning.

“There was all this stuff flying at the house, tree branches, pieces of metal, fencing, a glass window, just everything, big pieces of timber, flying towards the back of the house, so we thought we’d better get away from here.”

Leonie Hulme returned to her waterfront home on Wednesday to find the glass panels shattered, car port blown away and her kayaks in a vacant lot two doors down.

“We were at the leagues club and it kept flashing up on the TV which houses were hit worst,” she said. “Then we saw ours comes up.”

Most of the sky lights in the bedroom of the modern three-level home were shattered on the carpet and dirt was spread throughout the walk in robe and ensuite.

“I was out in Illawong…and I thought ‘that sky is dark”,” she said.

“Then next door rang and said come home your Christmas tree is hanging out the window.”

Mrs Hulme, who has lived in the home since her husband built it seven years ago, said her outdoor setting is nowhere to be seen.

“I don’t know what to think,” she said while standing among shattered glass in the lounge room.

“What a bloody mess.”

No one was home when the tornado ripped through except for the family dog.

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