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Severe thunderstorms bring damaging winds and large hail to south-east Queensland

By Patrick Williams, Timothy Swanston and Hailey Renault, Sunday November 18, 2018 - 00:38 EDT
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Communities in the Sunshine Coast hinterland experienced a "very dangerous" thunderstorm. - ABC

A "very dangerous" thunderstorm packing giant hail and destructive winds tore through parts of south-east Queensland on Saturday evening, damaging homes and bringing down trees and powerlines.

Areas to the north of Brisbane were the hardest hit, with the worst of the weather reported from rural Kilcoy, the Sunshine Coast hinterland, and areas in and around Gympie.

Wayne Muras, who manages Stanley Hotel in Kilcoy, said the storm brought down trees in the main part of town.

"We were watching it on the radar on our our phones … and we said, 'this is going to get pretty serious'," Mr Muras said.

"The wind was that strong the rain was actually going sideways, it was just straight across.

"The gutters were full, trees were blowing down in the main street across the main bridge getting into Kilcoy, it was pretty full-on.

"We only got pea-sized hail, but I think on the outskirts of town it would have been a lot bigger.

"I'm sure there'd be a lot of trees down everywhere."

Kilcoy resident Rory O'Donnell said the storm was "short and sharp" at his place.

"The wind was real strong, I got a bit concerned we'd be having a tree in the lounge room with us for dinner," he said.

Another Kilcoy local, Debra Harrip, could only watch as hail stones the size of golf balls tore apart her backyard and damaged her house.

"The house leaked and I have towels everywhere, but I think it's OK — just the guttering not coping. The chook pen, not so much," she said.

On Saturday BOM said hail measuring up to four centimetres was recorded at Urbenville, just south of the Queensland border.

Smaller hail has also been reported west of Toowoomba and in the Upper Lockyer.

Storms also left more than 9,500 properties without power, mostly around Gympie.


© ABC 2018

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