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Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Queensland storms: hail, lightning and heavy rain forecast to hit state’s south-east

Queensland storms: hail, lightning and heavy rain forecast to hit state’s south-east


Queensland is bracing for another weekend of wild weather, even as recovery efforts from the storms that ravaged the south-east continue.

“Several waves of thunderstorms” are forecast for parts of south-east Queensland by the Bureau of Meteorology, bringing with them hail, lightening and heavy rain.

Thousands in the region remain without power and wait for their homes to be repaired, with recovery efforts likely to be put on hold as the latest round of storms batter the state.

Two severe thunderstorm warnings have been issued for the region, including Wide Bay, Burnett, Darling Downs, Granite Belt, Moreton Bay, Somerset, Brisbane and the Sunshine coast.

Hail has already been reported falling in Dalby on the Western Downs, as well as other areas in the south-east.

The bureau predicts that on Saturday severe thunderstorms producing heavy rainfall are likely to hit Woodford, Mount Beerwah, Beachmere and the area west of Toogoolawah, with warnings of flash flooding and damaging winds.

The storms are heading eastwards and were forecast to hit Redcliffe, Caboolture and northern Bribie Island, before hitting Caloundra, Bribie Island and waters off Bribie Island.

Meteorologist Johnathan How said the storms cover a large region and that flood watches are active across the state’s south-east.

“We’re not expecting rivers to be flooding but you could see rapid responses in creeks and drains,” he said.

The conditions will offer little respite to those still struggling with the impacts of the storms from Christmas and Boxing Day, with 26,000 Energex electricity customers still waiting for power to be restored.

About 133,000 customers lost power earlier this week after the tornado and storms battered the region.

Those still waiting for power are predominantly in the hardest hit areas of the Gold Coast, Scenic Rim and Logan.

An Energex spokesperson said a total rebuild of the power network was needed for these areas after the tornado snapped concrete poles.

Some customers may need to wait another week for power to be restored, he said.

The recovery efforts will be aided by volunteers from SES NSW and Victoria, who will be joining their Queensland counterparts to help those affected by the wild weather.

There are already 180 Queensland SES volunteers working to repair roofs and clear trees, and they will be joined by 48 SES NSW volunteers and 88 Victorian volunteers.

The SES recevied 2,980 requests for help across the Gold Coast, Scenic Rim and Logan areas from Christmas Day to 6am (AEDT) Saturday.

The Gold Coast hospital and Health Service is sending some recovering patients to hotels rather than discharging them to storm-damaged homes without water or power.

The health service said this applied to patients who needed powered medical devices to manage their condition once they have left hospital.

This was an interim solution and was for patients who did not have alternative accommodation such as family and friends, the service said.

Those still waiting for power are predominantly in the hardest hit areas of the Gold Coast, pictured, Scenic Rim and Logan. Photograph: Tim Sewell/AAP

The wet weather has not stopped planning for New Year’s Eve celebrations.

The Gold Coast council has reassured residents festivities across five locations will go ahead.

Storm-related activity has claimed the lives of seven people in Queensland since Christmas. Five homes were destroyed.

NSW and Victoria also received storms. Three people died on Boxing Day.

In Queensland’s north, residents of Douglas shire are starting to receive water supply again after being without for two days due to ex-cyclone Jasper.

Supply has been returning since Friday evening after landslides blocked creeks flowing to the Mossman water treatment plant.

Water restrictions remain for the area and bottled water continues to be available to residents on Saturday.



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