The roof of the High Street Motor Inn was a casuatly of the storm on Monday night.
The roof of the High Street Motor Inn was a casuatly of the storm on Monday night. Contributed

Storm hits top end of town

THE first of the severe storms for the season swept through Stanthorpe on Monday night leaving an intense but contained trail of destruction in its wake.

The full force of the storm hit town about 6.30pm after an introduction of rain, lightning and wind.

For High Street Motor Inn owners Shaun and Shannon Cox, the storm offered an abrupt welcome home after a family holiday.

Mrs Cox said they had arrived home only a few hours before the storm took the roof from their motel.

"One of the SES guys said in his 32 years in the Stanthorpe SES he has never seen anything like it," she said.

"They were here helping us until about 2am. Everyone was so quick to respond and have been so helpful."

On Tuesday morning council workers with machinery were helping crush and remove the 5m long sheets of roofing that littered the backyard and had also been blown into the golf course, neighbours' trees, onto the train tracks and also in Francis St.

"We feel so blessed that the damage was so contained and our house is safe and the restaurant is safe," Mrs Cox said.

She said while the 20-room motel would be closed for some weeks for repairs, the restaurant - the Aussie Beef Steak House - remained open for business.

Across the road, the Stanthorpe Showgrounds were also hit hard, with trees, sheds, roofs, horse stables and the Exhibition Centre feeling the full force of the storm.

Stanthorpe Agricultural Society president Cr Cameron Gow said the team had already been up there taking photos and having the site inspected for insurance purposes.

"We have a light pole that has fallen into the main ring as well as buildings, sheds and horse stables that were knocked around and have trees on them," he said.

Cr Gow added that they would provide storage space for the High Street Motor Inn while they rebuilt.

Across the highway, Caves Rd also took a hit with about eight giant pine trees on one property uprooted, crushing a goat house on their way down.

Neighbour James Beveridge said the destruction of the 30 seconds of wind was something out of the ordinary.

"All I heard was a little creaking and cracking and in the flashes of lightning I could see the trees falling," he said.

Phone the SES on 137 468 for assistance during a storm.

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