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Power outages cause headaches after storm hits south-east Qld, but rain eases Stradbroke fire threat

Tuesday January 7, 2014 - 14:02 EDT
Audience submitted image
The bushfire glow on North Stradbroke Island amid the approaching storm yesterday. - Audience submitted

Thousands of properties remain without electricity today after yesterday's severe storms in south-east Queensland.

The storms rolled in from the west, dumping rain and bringing winds of up to 100 kilometres per hour.

Energex has recorded about 40,000 lightning strikes since 1:00pm yesterday.

A woman in her 40s was injured when her home was struck by lightning in Logan, south of Brisbane.

It is understood she was on the telephone at the time.

She is in hospital in a stable condition.

The weather bureau says 80 millimetres of rain fell in half an hour at Slacks Creek, south of Brisbane.

Helicopter to monitor bushfire

The rain was welcome on North Stradbroke Island, off Brisbane, where firefighters have been battling a bushfire for more than a week.

About 55mm fell, helping to ease the bushfire threat.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services crews are continuing to monitor the bushfire, which is burning within containment lines in inaccessible terrain at the southern end of the island.

A helicopter will be used today to provide aerial reconnaissance of the fire zone.

Today's weather should be limited to light showers and some wind gusts of 20-30kph, with the south-east to reach a maximum of 29C and no storms forecast.

Energex spokesman Danny Donald says power lines were brought down in 120 locations yesterday.

He says repair crews restored power to about 85,000 properties overnight.

But as of 1.00pm today, there were still 2,931 homes without power.

Most of them were in Brisbane, the Lockyer Valley and Logan, but the outages were spread from the southern Gold Coast to the Sunshine Coast.

"It's down to the worst-affected areas ... where trees are down and have brought down power lines," Mr Donald said.

In Brisbane those areas included Everton Park, Chandler, Mackenzie, Burbank and McDowall.

Further south, power is still out at Forestdale and Browns Plains in Logan, and on the Gold Coast at Varsity Lakes, Tallebudgera and Burleigh Waters.

The storms damaged dozens of homes on the Gold Coast.

An SES spokesman says they responded to 37 calls for help, mostly for leaky roofs.

Tallebudgera was the area worst hit.

Lockyer Valley cops it again

West of Brisbane, the clean-up will continue this morning in the Lockyer Valley.

Grantham appears to have been the hardest hit, with roofs torn off two buildings and several farming sheds damaged.

A family on a property near Dalby on the Darling Downs watched as their

Lockyer Valley business owner Marty Warburton says he is unsure whether he will reopen after his service station was damaged yesterday.

He says it is the third time since the January 2011 flood that his business has been affected by severe weather.

"I'd like to stay [and] get back open, but at the moment it's just hard to keep a level head," he said.

Lockyer Valley Mayor Steve Jones says there was flash flooding in low-lying areas of Gatton and Forest Hill.

"[There is] significant damage to property of course; there will be some damage to farming as well," he said.

"I guess that at this time of the year it's fortunate there's limited cropping because of the heat."


© ABC 2014

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