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Damage bill for Queensland coast hailstorms likely to reach millions of dollars

By Francis Tapim, Sunday November 17, 2013 - 14:23 EDT
Audience submitted image
Queensland Fire and Rescue officer Mark Kelly said no-one expected the hail to be as large as it was. - Audience submitted

Queensland authorities say the damage bill from yesterday's hailstorms in the state's south-east will run into the millions of dollars.

Storms rolled in from the west of the state, dumping hail in Brisbane, Logan and the Gold Coast, but the Sunshine Coast was hardest hit.

with hail ranging in size from golf balls to tennis balls smashing roofs, windows, cars and windscreens.

Queensland Fire and Rescue officer Mark Kelly says the weather bureau correctly forecast dangerous storms with hail, but no-one expected the hail to be so big.

"A lot of the hail has broken roofing, skylights and subsequently houses had been flooded by the rain... there are a number of cars that would also be damaged," he said.

Mr Kelly said emergency services responded to hundreds of calls for help in and around Maroochydore.

One woman was struck by hail at a caravan park and was taken to a local medical centre and treated for minor head injuries and bruising.

Steve Waddell from SES Queensland was attending an SES Week awards ceremony in Gympie when reports of hail came through.

"About a quarter of the audience had to get up and go and work and respond to the request," he said.

"We ended up with about 206 requests. Some are still coming through as people come home after the storms. The majority of those were around the Maroochydore area."

Mr Waddell confirmed the weather bureau is forecasting more storms today.

"The bureau has told us they're likely to be concentrated around the Wide Bay, central highlands, Capricornia districts. Still severe but we can't tell until they appear on the radar how severe they will be," he said.

"We recommend people - if they get the warning - to move their car under cover, away from trees, secure any loose outdoor items like trampolines or move outdoor furniture indoors, seek shelter, preferably indoors and never under trees.

"Don't use a land line telephone during a thunderstorm and after the storm be aware of trees and powerlines."

The insurance industry says it expects the damage bill will run into the millions and it could take weeks to process claims.

Authorities are urging residents living in hard-hit areas to assess the damage immediately.

Mr Kelly says the Sunshine Coast storm was a freak event and the full extent of the damage will not be realised for days.

"Owners of houses will come home after the weekend and find their property has been damaged and there very well could be hundreds of jobs in a couple of days time and it is advisable for people to get on to their insurance companies," he said.

People seeking assistance from emergency services can contact the SES on 132 500.

If you have any storm pictures, send them to us via Twitter at , our or our .


© ABC 2013

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