The Bureau of Meteorology is investigating whether a literal tornado or waterspout (a type of tornado that forms over water) ripped through parts of the Illawarra on Sunday, tearing roofs off dozens of homes. Someone give these residents a break.

About 40 homes were damaged at Bellambi and Corrimal including a two-storey apartment block that had its roof shredded.

Bellambi residents described the noise at about 2:30am on Sunday as “all hell broke loose”.

“I just sounded like raring thunders, like a wave coming … sort of a roar, and all-of-a-sudden just noise everywhere,” one resident told the ABC.

BoM said it was unable to confirm the weather event that caused the damage because it was too small and too short to be tracked by weather radars, but forecasters hadn’t ruled it out.

“The radar imagery that we had concurrent with the time of the reports of the tornado, it will need to have a bit more investigation,” Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Helen Reid said.

“But it did look like there was a potential for an extra circulation in what was happening at the time.

“So I’m not ruling it out completely, but it is being investigated.”

NSW SES said it received 68 calls for help in the area on Sunday morning including retrieving a large trampoline from overhead powerlines. Something lifted it up there!

SES deputy incident controller Andrew Galvin told the ABC there was “an obvious trail” of damage.

“A couple of homes had quite significant damage with roofs off and it is very difficult to do temporary repairs to a couple of them.”

Severe weather is expected to worsen into Monday and continue early in the week.

Image: @nickpmclaren / Twitter