Hurricane And Hail
Hail-stones the size of cricket balls dam- aged practically every house in the far-west town of Wilcannia during a hurricane which swept the district late yesterday afternoon.
Two people were injured in the storm and are in hospital.
Dozens of homes had their roofs ripped off by a raging wind, which, at times, reached a velocity of 75 miles an hour.
To a late hour last night, telephone communication with Wilcannia and Ivanhoe was cut by broken telephone wires.
The only contact with Wil- cannia was through the Broken Hill Flying Doctor Base radio link to the Wilcannia police
Sergeant W. P. Moroney, of Broken Hill police, said last night the Wilcannia police had reported a trail of devastation.
Trees were uprooted by the wind, which had plucked many of the smaller ones right out of the ground.
Mr. F. Basden, the operator in charge of the Broken Hill Flying Doctor radio station,
said that despite severe static he had heard Wilcannia police say that the hurricane had caused widespread damage throughout the town.
The hurricane had struck
the town shortly after 5 p.m.
Torrential rain was accom- panied by a fierce channel of wind which carried corrugated iron roofing into the sky like
Poultry were blown out of fowlyards and were either killed or scattered far and wide.
Last night, Broken Hill authorities were arranging to transport supplies of roofing iron to Wilcannia to repair the hundreds of damaged homes.
Fortunately, the storm was brief, and fine conditions pre- vailed later in the night.
Wilcannia is 125 miles north-east of Broken Hill, with a population of approximately 2,000 people.
Last night, dozens of people were sleeping without a roof
over their heads.
Towns in the surrounding district reported seeing heavy black clouds and forked light- ning, in the direction of Wil- cannia, but they escaped the