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South-east Queensland hit with severe storms after scorching Christmas Day

Tuesday December 26, 2017 - 05:40 EDT
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After a sweltering Christmas Day, Brisbane was hit by storms and lightning. - ABC licensed

More than 19,000 homes across south-east Queensland lost power on Christmas night as the region was hit by severe thunderstorms after a scorching Christmas Day.

Areas from the Scenic Rim and the Gold Coast through to Brisbane and Moreton Bay were hit by storm cells from about 5:30pm, with heavy rain and damaging winds thrashing the region.

The storms caused power outages in 19,200 homes, Energex said, affecting homes in the Scenic Rim first then moving up to Brisbane City and the Sunshine Coast.

Energex said crews were working to restore power where it was safe to do so, and people have been warned to stay away from fallen powerlines.

At midnight there were still more than 8,000 homes without power.

"There have been a lot of positive words from the community tonight, thanking our crews for working through Christmas and we thank everyone for their patience," an Energex spokesperson said.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) had issued a severe thunderstorm warning for parts of south-east Queensland and warned of possible hail, but all warnings were later cancelled as the storms subdued.

However, heavy rain and thunder persisted in Brisbane throughout the evening.

ABC Radio Brisbane's Bald Hills AM transmitter was knocked out by the storm at about 7:30pm, but was repaired a few hours later.

A severe thunderstorm warning was also cancelled for the Southern Downs, as storms moving north-east from the New South Wales border were expected to bring damaging winds to Warwick and Killarney.





All of the power outages were due to the Christmas night storms, the spokesperson said, with heavy winds damaging powerlines.

An 89-kilometre-per-hour wind gust was observed at Roma on Monday afternoon, and an 87kph gust was observed at Beaudesert at about 6.00pm.

High rainfall was recorded throughout the evening too.

The Pacific Pines on the Gold Coast recorded 55 millimetres of rainfall in 30 minutes.

Upper Springbrook received 77 millimetres of rain in an hour, and the Numinbah Valley saw 44 millimetres of rain fall in 30 minutes.

The storms came after a scorching summer day in the south-east, with Brisbane, Ipswich, Gatton and Beaudesert reaching a top of 36 degrees Celsius.

The Gold Coast, Coolangatta and Warwick also reached 35C.


- ABC

© ABC 2017

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