Wollondilly Council opens fund to aid hail storm clean-up

A thick blanket of ice on Westbourne Avenue, Thirlmere. Picture: Noel Plunkett
A thick blanket of ice on Westbourne Avenue, Thirlmere. Picture: Noel Plunkett

Residents affected by Wollondilly's freak hailstorm on Saturday can now apply for council assistance to clear debris.

The council has activated the Mayor's Relief Fund to aid residents of Thirlmere, Tahmoor and Picton who aren't covered by insurance.

Locals affected by the terrifying barrage of hail on Saturday evening can apply for up to $1000 to assist in the clean-up of vegetation and debris caused by the storm.

A council spokeswoman said the storm came as a shock.

"The storm event on Saturday afternoon was very severe and sudden, impacting Thirlmere, Tahmoor and parts of Picton," she said.

"There were trees down, debris across the roads and lots of damage to properties with plenty of windows smashed.

"Power was out for much of the night and into Sunday for some locations."

The spokeswoman said the local SES unit led the emergency response, and were supported by the Rural Fire Service and council staff.

Wollondilly Leisure Centre was affected with hail coming through the roof (repairs were made on Sunday and Monday), and the Thirlmere Roosters facility and football field was "significantly damaged and will need major repairs".

The Mayor's Relief Fund is in addition to the waiving of green waste fees at Bargo Waste Management Centre, which is valid for residents in the affected suburbs until Sunday.

An extra green bin collection has also been organised for the affected areas.

"Our thoughts are with those residents who suffered significant property damage following the intense wind and hail on Saturday," mayor Robert Khan said.

"It is encouraging to see the community come together and help each other as they always do when faced with challenges like this.

"Thank you especially to our SES crews who took the lead in responding to the emergency.

"Council crews have been out clearing roads and debris over the weekend to make our roads and facilities safe. We will continue to work on the clean-up this week.

"I'd also like to invite anyone who wants to help our local community to donate to the fund.

"Every dollar we receive is passed on directly to affected residents and is tax deductible."

The council's street sweeping schedule has been adjusted to provide extra time to clean up streets in the worst-hit locations.

Apply for assistance here.

Donate to the fund here.