Queensland Lashed by Severe Storms

In Australasia, Floods & Storms, News Headlines

Severe thunderstorms have battered south-east Queensland for a second night.

Senior Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Ben Annells says the system started over the Lockyer Valley last night and moved north through Brisbane.

“[It] produced very intense rainfalls up around 70 millimetres or so in an hour, more intense than that in half an hour, around sort of 40 to 45 millimetres an hour, and as a result we’ve seen a number of severe thunderstorm warnings issued,” he said.

Energex says crews have again been diverted from flood power restoration duties.

Power has been cut to 30,000 properties after strong winds and more than 6,500 lighting strikes stretching from the Lockyer and Brisbane Valleys to Ipswich, the Gold Coast and Brisbane.

An Energex spokesman says many of the areas affected by the latest storm had only recently had power restored after last week’s floods.

On Tuesday night, a line of storms from the south-west brought down powerlines, damaged roofs and sent trees crashing into homes and cars from Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast.

The cells generated wind gusts of up to 100 kilometres an hour near Ipswich and there was small sized hail in the Lockyer Valley and on Brisbane’s northside.

Residents, whose homes were already damaged from the floods, reported trees crashing into their roofs.

Earlier, Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said the state was on alert for more extreme weather in coming months.

Ms Bligh says severe weather patterns are expected across the Queensland as the wet season rolls on.

“We took the unprecedented step of actually inviting the weather bureau to come and formally present to the cabinet, because we were expecting a very severe weather pattern throughout the wet season, the likes of which the weather bureau tells us we haven’t seen since the early 1970s,” she told Sky News.

“We certainly are on full alert.”

The Brisbane City Council has warned bad weather, combined with a king tide this weekend, could cause flooding in areas not affected by last week’s Brisbane River peak.

Lord Mayor Campbell Newman says water is likely to reach similar levels seen in some suburban creeks prior to Christmas.

“The weather bureau are forecasting storms today [Wednesday] and they are forecasting storms tomorrow [Thursday],” he said.

“There is significant potential, and I want to warn people about it today for suburban creek flooding.”

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