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Man critically injured as storms lash SE Qld

Monday March 25, 2013 - 16:14 EDT

A man in his 40s was critically injured when a tree fell on him as severe thunderstorms lashed south-east Queensland last night.

Emergency crews worked through the evening after the storm brought down trees and cut power to 50,000 homes.

Emergency Management Queensland (EMQ) says a man was running at St Lucia in Brisbane's inner west when he was struck by a tree.

He was taken to Princess Alexandra Hospital with head injuries.

Another man also injured at St Lucia was taken to Royal Brisbane Hospital in a serious but stable condition.



On Brisbane's northside, a woman in her 20s was taken to hospital with cuts to her feet after a window in her Wooloowin apartment smashed in high winds.

Lisa Strudwick was injured when part of her roof collapsed at Loganholme, south of Brisbane.

She was hit by debris when she went inside her house to get away from the storm.

"I didn't know at that stage that branches had fallen, but it was mainly the noise," she said.

"I can distinctly remember the noise of the roof tiles so I think that's caused most of the damage to me.

"I've just got little cuts everywhere and stitches to the head and the eye and the leg, and I've just got a black eye."

She was taken to hospital with cuts to her head, but says it was still a lucky escape.

"Who would have predicted what happened last night?" she said.

"That's I guess the frightening thing and being here this morning it makes you realise how lucky I was, how lucky we were.

"There's now this massive tree trunk protruding through the roof into the house right above where I was standing."

She says the damage to her house is considerable.

"There is just debris everywhere - branches and trees and I've got a tree sitting on my car and there's just stuff everywhere," she said.

"I haven't been inside yet but the kids took photos and there's just water everywhere inside."



The storms knocked out power in the Brisbane and Ipswich areas, with emergency services responding to 100 calls for help.

EMQ spokesman Mike Shapland says the damage was not too bad.

"We have had about 90 calls right across the southern part of the Brisbane area throughout the evening and that has ranged as far south as Scenic Rim, Beaudesert, Jimboomba and across Redlands as well," he said.

"We have got wind and roof damage being the large reason for the call-outs."



The Bureau of Meteorology said 45mm of rain fell within 30 minutes at Carole Park, west of Brisbane, while 40mm fell within the same period at Brassall in Ipswich.

Gusts of wind were recorded as high as 90 kilometres per hour.

Ipswich councillor Paul Tully says the storms were furious and the full extent of damage will not be realised until later today.

"There were very intense winds, hail and very heavy rain," he said.

"There was hail hitting cars outside the shopping centre and most people were caught unawares because it moved in from the west very, very quickly."

Weather bureau senior forecaster Ben Annells says more storms are on the way for the south-east.

"Still quite unstable conditions through the south-east so we are expecting further showers, gusty thunderstorms through the area today, not quite as unstable as yesterday, but nevertheless still enough to see that activity through the afternoon and evening in particular," he said.

Meanwhile, the clean-up continues in Beaudesert, west of the Gold Coast, where flash flooding caused damage to numerous businesses.

Many shops along Brisbane Street were inundated just months after another wild weather event during the Australia Day weekend.

Toni Jones runs a carpet store in town and says many customers are replacing their flooring for a second time this year.

"It's inconvenient, it's wasted money, it's a pain in the bum - people are tired of it," she said.

The wild weather brought down trees in some areas, damaging power lines, sheds and garages.

The Scenic Rim Regional Council says it will be assessing the full extent of the damage today.

Mayor John Brent says there were strong winds and heavy rain in a short period of time.

"The major damage though has been to the Energex network - many trees across power lines," he said.

"Significant structural damage to small sheds, to garages - those small type of buildings, with some damage to residential homes."


- ABC

© ABC 2013

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