Fiercest winds in living memory

photo Neil Richardson 31/7/14Wild weather in Launceston. Trevallyn dam in flood.

photo Neil Richardson 31/7/14Wild weather in Launceston. Trevallyn dam in flood.

Thursday 31 July 2014 (Photo Mark Jesser)Weather pictures - Kings Meadows

Thursday 31 July 2014 (Photo Mark Jesser)Weather pictures - Kings Meadows

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Thursday 31 July 2014 (Photo Mark Jesser)Weather pictures -Risly Street,  Kings Meadows wind blew roof off a house.

Thursday 31 July 2014 (Photo Mark Jesser)Weather pictures -Risly Street, Kings Meadows wind blew roof off a house.

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IT HAS been branded the worst weather in Launceston's recent history.

Umbrellas did not stand a chance as wind gusts terrorised the city from the early hours of the morning.

Fallen trees were a dime a dozen, crashing into fences, powerlines and in the more unlucky cases, houses.

People took to social media to share their updates.

"It is extremely windy here in Launceston today, the worst that I've ever experienced," said one online post.

"Someone has been killed by a fallen tree, our greenhouses rooves have blown off along with the letter box.

"A woman pumping petrol when we were filling up was blown onto the concrete and a sign from the building site next door just hit my office window. I feel like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz!"

"I've been living in Launceston for close on 40 years, and today's weather is the worst I can remember," said another, a sentiment that many echoed.

At Ravenswood, there were reports of chimneys blowing around the streets.

Suburban streets were closed at Kings Meadows and Norwood, as debris fell over Opossum Road.

The wind made short work of a house roof in Riseley Street at Kings Meadows, with the tin carried into the home's backyard and further afield to a neighbour's yard.

"It just lifted straight off," an SES member said.

Business signs were left dangling by a hinge, crumpled on the ground or bent around a light pole, as was the case of Petuna Seafoods in Wellington Street.

Up to 13,200 Northern residents were left without power and that number was expected to increase last night.

Devonport and Burnie had 8500 outages, with 100 customers left in the dark down South.

By yesterday evening, the Northern SES crews had received more than 300 call-outs.

SES regional manager Mhairi Revie said the SES had 35 volunteers on the ground to respond to the vast number of calls for assistance.

Ms Revie said SES resources were stretched and some of those jobs would not be completed until today.

"There's been a lot of significant roof damage, some roofs partially off, some roofs completely off.

"To be honest, it has been all through the North. It's hard to pick any one area, it's been spread all over the Northern region," she said.

The Launceston City Council was forced to close several of its facilities — including Punchbowl Reserve, Cataract Gorge Reserve, Heritage Forest and Carr Villa Memorial Park.

St John Street between Cimitiere and Cameron streets was also closed, with fears scaffolding around the town clock could blow off.

Churchill Park and Birch Avenue Sports grounds will remain closed this weekend.

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