Savage winds rip the roof off South Coast home

An elderly South Coast couple escaped injury on Tuesday when a violent wind storm tore the roof off their home.

Gordon and Elaine Patterson have lived in the Derribong Avenue home in Catalina, near Batemans Bay, for 28 years and said they had never experienced winds as strong as on Monday night and early yesterday.

"It sounded like a can opener as the roof peeled away from the top of the house," Mrs Patterson said.

"I couldn't believe it at first but Gordon said, 'Look up there, that's the [sky]' and the rain was coming in."

The incident occurred at 8.10am when high winds tore away the corrugated iron roof, awning and railing of their verandah.

The couple, in their 70s, were shocked to see the roof resting on their driveway, having narrowly missed cars parked next to their house.

Roofing lies in the street in Catalina. KEN MITCHELL

Soon after, they witnessed another strong gust pick up the large piece of corrugated iron and throw it down the street.

"We were extremely lucky that no-one was injured and it didn't hit a car," Mr Patterson said.

Batemans Bay SES were able to secure the roof and the couple have some water damage to their house.

SES crews were called to about 180 jobs between Wollongong and Bega as the violent winds of up to 120km/h passed through the region.

Eurobodalla Shire was the worst hit, picking up around 50 per cent of the jobs.

Wollongong accounted for 45 incidents - mostly minor roof damage and fallen trees.

SES Illawarra South Coast incident controller Grant McClory said several thousand people along the coast lost power.

He urged people to be storm safe and secure loose items around the house.

Corrimal resident Pat Burns said the winds caused "a bit of a kerfuffle", when they ripped a four-metre tree out of the ground at her Collins Street home.

Ms Burns only realised the tree had landed on her driveway when she went to the window about midnight last night.

"It was such a wild night," she said.

Bureau of Meteorology spokesman David Barlow said the small low pressure system which caused the winds moved off the coast on Tuesday afternoon.

"It was tracking to the south and south-east today," Mr Barlow said.

Fine weather is expected in the Illawarra for the next seven days, with maximum temperatures hovering between 20 and 25 degrees.

ordon Patterson watches on as SES workers secure a tarp to his home.

ordon Patterson watches on as SES workers secure a tarp to his home.


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