Spectacular electrical storms swept across large parts of southern Queensland on Monday, causing flash flooding and leaving thousands of properties without power.
The Bureau of Meteorology had been warning of a severe storm all day, so flood-weary residents were not caught off guard when dark clouds descended mid-afternoon.
The bureau’s latest advice is available online.
It says centres affected include Brisbane, Logan, the Gold Coast, Somerset, Redlands, Toowoomba, Dalby and parts of the Gympie, Ipswich, Sunshine Coast, Scenic Rim and South Burnett council areas.
The Brisbane CBD resembled night time at 3.30pm, when lightning and thunder sent workers scuttling indoors.
Thousands of lightning strikes have been detected and the weather bureau recorded heavy rain at Wacol, south-west of Brisbane, where 98mm fell in an hour and 70mm in 30 minutes.
In the city’s north, 70mm of rain was recorded in an hour at Mitchelton.
The weather bureau says the immediate threat of severe storms has passed, but the situation will be monitored and further warnings will be issued if necessary.
It says the first line of storms rolled in this afternoon with ominous clouds, hail and spectacular lightning shows.
A second line of storms followed, hitting Brisbane’s CBD from about 6.20pm.
They caused commuter chaos, with train services disrupted, particularly on the Ipswich line, and one of Brisbane’s major highways, the Gateway Motorway, congested after several small crashes.
State Emergency Service (SES) crews were called over 100 homes to help with leaky roofs and fallen trees.
Most were in Brisbane, where 94 calls were received, and 28 were from Ipswich, west of the city.
An SES spokeswoman said the deluge had authorities concerned about flash flooding and motorists were warned against driving on flooded roads.
The bureau’s radar showed the storms moving from the west toward the Gold Coast.
They were forecast to effect Beaudesert, Laidley, Gatton, Rosewood, Ipswich, Lake Manchester, Lowood and Fernvale.
Energex reported more than 30,000 properties without power at 7.45pm, about half of them in Redcliffe and Caboolture, north of Brisbane.
By 10.00pm, power had been restored to around 23,000 homes.
Its system recorded 27,000 lightning strikes between 12.00pm and 7.00pm, as well as winds gusting to around 80 kilometres per hour.
The storm came after three days of above-average heat in the south-east.