AS the clear-up operation from Friday’s storm was nearing completion on Monday, another installment of heavy rain was predicted for Orange.
Winds of up to 65km/h tore through the city on the way to the east coast on Friday evening, wreaking havoc on buildings and trees.
The area around Byng Street was hit particularly hard, with the Kmart building sustaining major damage, forcing the two-day closure of the retail store, while the rain seeped through the Orange Civic Theatre roof and onto the stage, forcing the cancellation of that night’s performance of ‘The Little Mermaid’.
Trees in Robertson Park, outside the theatre, and in the car park of Ashcrofts Supa IGA also felt the brunt, with branches, limbs and even some trunks felled.
VIDEO: Orange City Council crews hard at work on Monday …
On Monday morning Orange City Council crews were busy in the park, feeding an assortment of off-cuts through a chipping machine.
One massive limb – which had fallen from a tree planted in 1953 to mark the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II – was too large to be fed into the machine, and was instead transported from its location adjacent to the rotunda.
According to council, experts will assess the damage to the historic tree in the coming days, but early indications suggested a number of branches above the damaged trunk may have to be removed.
Elsewhere, crews removed damaged trees in Seymour Street, Prunus Avenue in Glenroi, and the Clinton Street area, while a large Eucalypt branch had also come down across the cycleway near the linen service building on Forest Road.
Kmart, meanwhile, opened as usual on Monday morning, after initial fears it would remain closed until midweek.
“[The] damage was less than thought and the store opened this morning,” the chain’s head of corporate affairs and sustainability Tracie Walker said.
Friday night’s downpour netted 22 millimetres in Orange Regional Airport’s rain gauges, and, according to the seven-day forecast, further heavy showers were expected within the next 48 hours.
There was a 70 per cent chance of between five and 10 millimetres on Tuesday, and an 80 per cent prospect of up to 20 millimetres on Wednesday.
There was no other significant rain on the radar.
If the forecast was to be believed the temperature will also cool considerably after Tuesday’s top of 27 degrees, with highs of between 15 and 21 seeing out the weekend.
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