‘Ferocious’ storms smash Queensland
QUEENSLANDERS have woken to severe storm damage after hail and strong winds battered the region's southeast overnight.
A chain of severe thunderstorms ripped up several roofs, downed power lines and plunged more than 46,000 homes into darkness.
The Bureau of Meteorology cancelled a severe weather warning at 7pm yesterday but said the storm activity would continue to move across the region.
Areas affected included Logan, Gold Coast, Redland City, Scenic Rim, Toowoomba, Sunshine Coast and Brisbane City council areas.
Winds gusting in excess of 90km/h triggered more than 100 emergency calls for assistance between 2pm and 6.30pm on Friday night, according to the State Emergency Service. Most were on the Gold Coast and Carrara.
Lightning strikes were blamed for the hundreds of homes that suffered power outages on the Gold Coast and surrounding areas. There were a recorded 200,000 lightning strikes last night alone, 46,000 of those hitting the ground.
This is rolling through SE Qld right now. Lightning felt close pic.twitter.com/8wD0zM2wR4— Matthew Lappin (@skinnylappin) December 21, 2018
A Queensland SES told news.com.au more calls had been coming through this morning.
"As of 2pm yesterday until 6.45am this morning we've had 205 calls to the SES; 191 of those were in southeast region," he said.
Despite crews concentrating on their efforts there, the spokesman said the SES was unable to predict how long the clean-up and repairs would take.
While most were not expected to have electricity restored until today, that didn't stop Queenslanders from taking to social media to share their experiences.
BIG storm rolls in, smashes everything on the balconies and I was almost blown over the balcony.— Judi Reid (@JudiReid) December 21, 2018
And now the sun is setting with a beautiful rainbow 🤗#feelinglucky @ Surfers Paradise, Queensland — in Surfers Paradise, QLD, Australia https://t.co/GuqMmGDNJ1
Scenic Rim mayor Greg Christensen told Brisbane Timesthe damage in his region was extensive.
"It was a ferocious storm. The wind was unbelievable," Cr Christensen said. "It will be a challenging Christmas for a number of families."
Those catching public transport this morning have been warned to expect lengthy delays, akin to the chaos commuters faced last night. Buses travelling to and from the Brisbane CBD were reportedly running up to an hour behind, while power outages cut train services between Nerang and Varsity Lakes on last night.
According to Queensland power company Energex, crews worked through the night to restore safe lines with the bulk of repairs expected to be made today.
Just like the freak hailstorm that pummelled NSW earlier this week, Queensland's wild weather came after a scorching hot day in Brisbane where temps soared to 35C.
And the Bureau of Meteorology warns, the wild storms may not be over yet.
Heatwaves have been forecast across swathes of Queensland, the Northern Territory and down into much of NSW in the lead-up to Christmas Day. But meteorologists warn Brisbane could see more severe storms later today.
You can check what the weather will be like in your city for Christmas here.