Forty knot winds lash town
Gale-force winds lashed Port Macquarie last week, causing extensive damage, particularly to the southern end of Horton Street.
Here, shop awnings were blown off, blocking Horton Street with debris. An eye-witness said the heavy awnings "just sailed across the road".
Annette Badino, an employee of Mr D. Gilson, whose shop is beneath the awning and brickwork that collapsed, noticed two young children playing in the front of the shop.
When she saw pieces of tiles flying from the Catholic hall opposite, she hurriedly pulled them inside. It was then that the brickwork and awning above collapsed. Luckily no one was hurt due to Annette's prompt action.
Elsewhere in Port Macquarie, damage from the winds was easy to see. Many roads were covered with leaves, and in some cases good sized branches and limbs, television aerials were bent back, power lines brought down, roofs blown off, and signs torn from their uprights.
The winds, in evidence from about noon yesterday, became stronger about 3.30pm and were soon exceeding 40 knots in velocity.
Port Macquarie's barometric reading at the height of the gale was 29.2 inches, the lowest it has been for some years.
At the airport the hanger housing two local aero club planes had all the iron blown off it but only one plane suffered slight damage.
The wind was a north-wester and left hundreds of dollars in damage behind it when it subsided shortly after 4pm.
Blackmans Post Office closes
The Blackmans Point Post Office has closed. After her husband Bill Gardiner passed away, Mrs Gardiner said she found it too lonely to carry on the postal work and therefore decided to close the office and move into Port Macquarie.
Visitor enquiries up 35 per cent
The tourist information centre in Horton Street, Port Macquarie had a total of 3756 enquiries made during the school vacation period which ended on Monday.
This represented a rise of nearly 35 per cent on the figures for last year. Tourist officer Greg Hannant said yesterday the rise was phenomenal. He attributed the rise to the staggering of vacation dates in NSW and Queensland schools.