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Newcastle storms 2015: Lake Macquarie counts the cost, braces for more

Lake counts the cost, braces for more A boat half submerged in Pelican. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
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The Red Rooster Chicken on Main Road Edgeworth gets blown away. Picture: Simone De Peak

A shelter smashed by a fallen tree at Wangi Wangi. Picture Max Mason-Hubers

A Lake Macquarie jetty is consumed by the swollen lake. Picture: Hugh Robson

Cyclone floods Swansea backyard. Picture: Sylvia Lee

A fallen pine tree at Redhead. Picture: Darren Pateman

Picture: Sylvia Lee.

Picture: Sylvia Lee.

A car crushed by a tree on Arcadia Ave in Arcadia Vale. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

A car crushed by a tree on Arcadia Ave in Arcadia Vale. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

A car crushed by a tree on Arcadia Ave in Arcadia Vale. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

A shelter smashed at Wangi Wangi. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Swell on Lake Macquarie at Wangi Wangi. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Tree falls across Vita Cafe at Wangi. Picture: Jason Gordon

Lake surges across the public jetty in Dobell Park at Wangi. Picture: Jason Gordon

A boat half submerged in Pelican. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

The waterfront at Warners Bay. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Freeman’s Drive Cooranbong. Picture: Tania Rossiter

The swell at Wangi Wangi. Picture Max Mason-Hubers

The swell on Lake Macquarie & a tinny washed up on the shore at Wangi Wangi. Picture Max Mason-Hubers

TweetFacebookWater swirled around Swansea fish co-op, as the lake rolled forwards.

Other low-lying areas like Marks Point, Cardiff and Dora Creek were bracing for flooding, as the rain refused to let up.

A big, twisted trampoline was wedged against a tree at Blacksmiths next to the Pacific Highway, a marker of the storm’s fury.

Bizarrely, fishermen fished in Swansea Channel under lightning.

Horizontal rain, powered by punishing hurricane-style winds, sheeted through parts of west Lake Macquarie throughout the day.

Bolton Point resident Tammy Watts was exasperated, as she dealt with a big tree that had fallen into her bedroom.

Water was leaking into her house, ruining her possessions.

She was cut off from the world, with no power and no phone service.

‘‘I’m freaking out,’’ Ms Watts said. ‘‘I can’t believe it.’’ When the tree struck her house, she hit her head and had a seizure.

‘‘I’m an epileptic,’’ she said.

At Arcadia Vale, a tree destroyed a Holden Commodore.

Owner David Mooy said his car had been ‘‘flattened’’.

Mr Mooy managed to keep his sense of humour, partly out of relief that no one was injured in the incident.

‘‘It’ll buff out,’’ he said.

‘‘I just need a bit of duct tape.’’

If he didn’t laugh, he’d probably cry.

His car was not insured and he couldn’t afford another one.

The suburbs of Eleebana and Valentine were among those with trees down, while the Belmont and Warners Bay shores looked ominous.

At Fennell Bay, an isolated houseboat on the shore looked vulnerable, as water surrounded it.

Wild wind whipped the grey and brown lake into a frenzy.

Waves were abnormally high and foreshore areas flooded.

Boats rocked wildly, while some broke their moorings.

Motorists had to slalom through fallen trees on the road into Pelican.

Pelican Marina was hit hard, with damage to vessels and infrastructure.

Saturated boaties worked frantically to secure their windswept boats.

Dennis Skewses said the marina’s southern wharf was destroyed in the morning, taking a houseboat with it.

The houseboat sunk in the lake near Little Pelican, he said.

Mr Skewses, who lives on a houseboat at the marina, said the wharf that held his home was deteriorating.

‘‘Our livelihoods are disintegrating in front of us,’’ he said.

He was staying on his boat for the night to protect it.

If the wharf was destroyed, he planned to motor the boat into the lake to drop anchor.

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