'Terrible shock': Man killed in storm was kind, generous
A FEDERAL resident who died during an overnight storm has been described as a "lovely man".
The man, who has not yet been named at the request of police, was inside his Kings Road home when part of a nearby fig tree fell, destroying the structure.
A neighbour said he was "always a very good neighbour".
"He was just so kind," she said.
"He was kind and generous and helpful to everybody."
She and her husband heard no crash from the tree, and the first they knew of the incident was when they saw emergency vehicles' lights approaching the property.
"We were out on the deck watching this storm come in because it was quite spectacular," she said.
"Then it just got too cold and windy and wet so we came inside and we didn't hear anything."
She said they were "terribly shocked" by the incident.
Long-term Federal resident Melinda Flower said the storm was "a bit more dramatic" than some others she had seen, but was gone after a short time.
"I came home and just heard really loud thunder and just crashing," she said.
"It didn't go for long.
"It was very loud and (there was) a bit of hail."
Tweed Byron Police District Inspector Gary Cowan said emergency services were called to the home about 7pm last night.
He said the man lived in a studio apartment near a house on the property.
"The lady that lives in the main house heard a huge bang coming from the rear of the house," Insp Cowan said.
Insp Cowan said the "very large fig", about 15 metres from the man's home, had "completely crushed" the building.
He said investigators would return to the site today and a report would be prepared for the coroner.
Insp Cowan said the man's dog was with him at the time.
Richmond Tweed SES community engagement co-ordinator Janet Pettit said they had 17 calls for assistance on Wednesday night.
"A lot of them were leaking roofs and trees down," Ms Pettit said.
Of those 17, she said there were about eight calls in Lismore and surrounds, one in Coraki and the remainder were in the Mullumbimby, Byron and Lismore areas.
She urged residents to be prepared for any further storms.
"We've still got a bit of rain around the Northern Rivers," she said.
"Our roads are extremely wet at the moment."
With school holidays still under way, Mr Pettit urged parents to ensure their children are safe in the wet weather, avoiding drains and floodwaters.