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Severe thunderstorms north of Brisbane flood homes and businesses

Tuesday October 1, 2019 - 17:48 EST
ABC licensed image
Caboolture resident Jessica Quilty said her backyard was flooded within minutes. - ABC licensed

Severe thunderstorms north of Brisbane in the early hours of Tuesday have flooded homes and businesses, bringing more than 100 millimetres in some parts of Moreton Bay and the Sunshine Coast.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) issued a severe storm warning just after midnight, after the storms developed along a trough that moved gradually north.

"We had showers and thunderstorms really blow up overnight in the northern suburbs of Brisbane, then they slowly tracked north right up to the Sunshine Coast," BOM forecaster Dean Narramore said.

"We had widespread rainfalls of 50 to 100mm from Redcliffe to Noosa. Caboolture was one of those places to bear the brunt of the activity with falls of around 100mm falling in about an hour or two."

Beachmere received 136mm of rain — 126 falling in two hours — Redcliffe had between 70mm to 80mm, Caboolture 100mm, while parts of Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast received 112mm and Noosa 91mm.

The ground is wet at Peregian, with new growth pushing through ground blackened by bushfire last month.

Brisbane and further south missed out, but Mr Narramore said there was a chance of showers in the capital later today, while light rain on the Sunshine Coast would ease and move inland.

"Tomorrow [Wednesday] it will head towards the central coast, so Rockhampton and Mackay should see the rain and then that's about it," he said.

Just after 3:00pm, a brief thunderstorm passed through the Condamine region in southern Queensland, bringing buckets of hail and blanketing the road.

Owen Bennedick — who runs the Wappa Falls Observatory outside Yandina — said his property went from parched to flooding within hours.

"It was absolutely roaring down," he said.

"I've been here for 33 years and I've never seen a storm like that — not that density of rain."

"We've got one fairly big dam, about a metre down and well [it was] full in an hour and a half."

He said the observatory suffered minor damage, with some structures buckling under the weight of the water.

"We lost one of our outside display areas … the roof got torn — it was raining too hard for the water to get off it."

Anytime Fitness in Caboolture had to be evacuated and was closed after the downpour flooded the business, with owner Delyse Brooks saying there could be up to $100,000 in damage to equipment.

"This was like a waterfall … just gushing out, so a bit of panic. We weren't quite sure what to do," she said.

"We had to evacuate the club, turn all the power off. Yeah, then plan of attack — just get the water out."

Cleaner Graham Brown at Caboolture Square said he had been sweeping out water from the carpark since 5:00am.

"There was a lot of water. It was 5 inches high and all came down from the gym," he said.

"We've been cleaning for three hours and there's still a bit of work to do."

Caboolture resident Jessica Quilty said the rain started flooding her backyard and spilling out of her gutters within minutes.

"It was just unbelievable," she said.

"I saw rain on the radar and walked outside to have a look and as soon as I did, a clap of thunder hit, you could just hear the rain coming, it was so loud.

"All of a sudden it was just pouring off the roof, my backyard flooded and entertainment area flooded — the dogs bed, kids toys and the furniture is soaking wet this morning.

"I couldn't believe how much rain we had and to tip out 125mm this morning … was amazing."

Ms Quilty said she was a former Emerald resident and while she appreciated the downpour she hoped it moved toward more drought-stricken areas.

"I love the rain but I wish it would go out west where the farmers are — they need it more than we do," she said.

Hail the size of a 10 cent coin was also spotted in the Caloundra region.

The BOM said the rain did not hit the areas where it was needed most, nor ease the state's fire danger.

A fire ban in place until October 4 in the Moreton Bay area will not be lifted, despite the heavy isolated downpour.

Mr Narramore said some places had more rain in three to four hours overnight than they have had in three to four months.

But he said higher than average temperatures were set to increase toward the end of the week in central Queensland and on the coast.

"This rain was good news for those under it — for filling tanks and freshening gardens but that's about it," he said.

"Once that heat returns later this week, we'll probably start seeing fire danger increase again for many parts of the region.

"We could see the heat really start to build Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and see our first 40-degree temperatures across large parts of inland Queensland.

"Very unseasonal for first week of October seeing 5C to 10C above average in some parts of the inland South East, with Gatton and Ipswich forecast to hit temperatures 12C above average.

"So a big burst of heat on the way again, obviously not great news for the fire weather."


© ABC 2019

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