1400 calls for help as $100m super storm hits Brisbane
LATEST: HUNDREDS of State Emergency Service volunteers and firefighters have joined police and defence force personnel cleaning up Brisbane and Ipswich after Thursday's super storm.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services reported on Friday morning there had been more than 1400 calls for help - mostly in the southern Brisbane suburbs of Marooka and Annerley.
The fire department said It will take days for all the requests to be completed.
Firefighters have responded to 475 storm-related incidents since 4pm on Thursday with twelve teams of specialist firefighters based at Annerley, Fairfield, Moorooka and Yeronga carrying out rapid damage assessments across the greater Brisbane area.
Rural fire fighters are helping streets which are still covered in downed trees and debris more than 12 hours after the ferocious storm hit.
Damage bill expected to top $100 million says Emerson
8AM UPDATE: THE damage bill from the super storm which hit south-east Queensland could top $100 million, the State Government says.
Transport Minister Scott Emerson gave the estimate as he described the extraordinary damage across the CBD.
Graham Metcalf from Energex told the ABC that 120 crews were working in dangerous conditions to get the power back on.
"Over the night we managed to get power back to about 40,000 customers so some work's been able to be achieved but there's a lot of work ahead," Mr Metcalf said.
At the height of the storm, more than 90,000 homes across Brisbane were without power, he said.
Bus services were also up and running but the King George Square interchange in the CBD would remain closed until further notice.
Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Sam Campbell told the ABC the supercell storm was one of the worst to hit Brisbane in a decade.
"It was one of the highest supercell thunderstorms to occur in Australia, producing 141 kilometre wind gusts at Archerfield and we had reports of tennis ball to softball-sized hail."
Resident James Marriott, from Toowong, said the storm tore off the roof of his apartment.
His roommate was in the kitchen at the time and was lucky to be alive.
"It looked like a bomb had gone off at the end of our home,'' he told the ABC.
Earlier, more than 70,000 properties remained without power across south-east Queensland as the biggest storm to hit Brisbane since 1985 ripped through homes, flipped planes, caused flash flooding and left a semi-trailer on a car.
At 5.30am on Friday, Energex was reporting in Brisbane that more than 61,000 remained without power.
In Moreton Bay, which takes in Redcliffe and Caboolture, more than 3800 properties were still waiting for their power to be restored.
On the Gold Coast, the tally was over 1200. while in Logan more than 1900.
Redland had more than 1200 people without power this morning.
The Sunshine Coast escaped the brunt of the storm cells which moved to the west and out to sea.
Noosa had just 16 homes and businesses without power, while the Sunshine Coast had 203.
Overnight there were heavy falls with more rain expected today for Brisbane and the south-east.
Premier calls in ADF to help with clean-up
QUEENSLAND Premier Campbell Newman has called in the Australian Defence Force to help clean up after Thursday's storm which is he says is the biggest to hit Brisbane since 1985.
He said the Insurance Council of Australia had declared a "catastrophic weather event" and immobilised its collection disaster arrangements.
At , Mr Newman said there were at least 88,000 homes with power and some would take at least 24 hours to fix.
He said there were at least 1100 SES job requests, planes flipped at Archerfield airport and a semi-trailer tipped on a car on a major arterial road.
"So it's a very significant storm," he said from a damaged church at Kangaroo Point.
"The belief is that this is bigger than The Gap storm (2008), I think that's safe to say.
"I'm calling it the biggest storm to hit Brisbane since 1985.
"It is hard at the moment to get a feeling for what the damage is."
Mr Newman said he phoned the defence minister just after to alert him Brisbane might need help and formally requested help after .
He expected army on the ground by tonight to help clear trees and other debris.
"At this stage we've only had one report of a woman being hurt by a fallen tree, that's all we know," he said.
"If that's all it is I'll be absolutely amazed because it was the ferocity of the thing.
"Tin from roofs everywhere, sharp objects, lots of broken glass ... falling hazards on footpaths.
Mr Newman said he was in a car between Queensland Parliament and the Executive Building "as the first hail came down".
He said there was a river going down William Street and the hail was at least golf-ball size.
This just happened... golf ball hail storms v glass building.. Brisbane cbd. Storm season pic.twitter.com/qci3iHM8iL— Jessy Sahota (@JessySahota) November 27, 2014
"We copped three on the car just before we went into the building parking," he said.
"I have some spectacular footage of the hail coming down on my Blackberry.
"I was quite scared. I thought this is big, this is a really big event.
"I was worried for the people of this city, worried for my own wife who I knew was walking along Kedron Brook.
"She got back about 5mins before it all hit.
"People could be really hurt by the hail, I hope we don't find a tragedy morning.
"I'm just really hoping and praying we don't have someone who has died this evening or serious injuries and there's someone lying out there in the dark trapped under some debris."
The city is covered in green leaf litter, fallen branches and glass which teams of people are trying to clean up.
8.20 PM: The immediate threat of severe thunderstorms has passed, but the situation will continue to be monitored by the bureau.
7.20 PM: THE storm is moving north with the bureau now forecasting the cells to affect the area south of Gympie, the ranges between Gympie and Murgon and the Amamoor Range northwest of Kenilworth by 7:50 pm and Gympie, Kilkivan and the area north of Gympie by 8:20 pm.
6:30 PM: THE latest from the bureau is forecasting severe thunderstorms to affect the area west of Kilcoy, Conondale and the area west of Conondale by 6:55 pm and Jimna, Kenilworth, Borumba Dam, Imbil, Kandanga and Amamoor by 7:25 pm.
The Bureau of Meteorology warns that, at 6:25 pm, severe thunderstorms were detected on weather radar near the area north of Woodford and they are moving north.
Meanwhile in Brisbane, the Ambulance Service said a tree had fallen onto a woman at West End. She is reported to be conscious and alert.
So far around 800 calls have been made to the SES, 400 power lines are down and at last count 82,000 people are without power in the Brisbane area.
Cars have gone under water on St Pauls Terrace and on the south side, Archerfield Airport had planes flip over.
The RACQ CareFlight's base of operations at Archerfield did not escape the carnage, causing hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of damage in mere minutes.
The hanger itself also sustained significant damage with the hail causing significant damage to the hanger roof, walls, windows and doors while gale-force rain threw corrugated iron sheeting into the air.
5.50 PM : VERY dangerous thunderstorms are forecast to affect Kilcoy, Mount Kilcoy and the area north of Woodford by 6:25 pm and Conondale, Jimna, the area west of Conondale and the area northwest of Jimna by 6:55 pm.
Other severe thunderstorms were located near Toogoolawah and Wamuran.
They are forecast to affect Caloundra, the area southwest of Caloundra, Peachester and Landsborough by 6:25 pm and Maroochydore, waters off Maroochydore, Montville and Palmwoods by 6:55 pm.
The Bureau of Meteorology warns that, at 5:55 pm, very dangerous thunderstorms were detected on weather radar near Lake Somerset.
These thunderstorms are moving towards the north.
Destructive winds, large hailstones and heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding are likely.
5.45 PM: VERY dangerous thunderstorms are forecast to hit southwest of Caloundra, Peachester and Landsborough by 6:15 pm and Maroochydore, Caloundra and Mapleton by 6:45 pm.
Other severe thunderstorms were located near Lake Somerset. They are forecast to affect Kilcoy, Moore and Mount Kilcoy by 6:15 pm and Linville, Conondale and the area west of Conondale by 6:45 pm.
Very large hail (capable of smashing windows) and a 141 km/h wind gust was recorded in the Brisbane area.
The Bureau of Meteorology warned that, at 5:45 pm, very dangerous thunderstorms were detected on weather radar near Caboolture.
These thunderstorms are moving towards the north.
EARLIER: TENNIS ball sized hail has smashed Brisbane's south side this afternoon, and the radar says the Sunshine Coast could be next to be hit.
The storm started just after 4.30pm with the hail lasting about 10 minutes.
Trains have been delayed by the downpour and Energex says almost 80,000 customers are without power.
At 5:00 PM the Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe thunderstorm warning for destructive wind, heavy rainfall and large hailstones for people in parts of the Wide Bay and Burnett and Southeast Coast Forecast Districts.
The storms are likely to produce destructive winds, heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding and large hailstones in the warning area over the next several hours.
Locations which may be affected include Brisbane, Maroochydore, Moreton Bay and islands and Noosa.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services advises that people should:
- Move your car under cover or away from trees.
- Secure loose outdoor items.
- Avoid driving, walking or riding through flood waters.
- Seek shelter, preferably indoors and never under trees.
- Avoid using the telephone during a thunderstorm.
- Beware of fallen trees and powerlines.
- For emergency assistance contact the SES on 132 500.