Apocalyptic flash-flooding and tennis ball-sized hailstones pose a threat to life as Queensland is smashed by terrifying supercell storms – while the rest of the East Coast prepares for more torrential rainfall
- A month’s rain and tennis ball-sized hailstones have been dumped from Darling Downs to the Sunshine Coast
- Flooding inundated Brisbane, causing delays to traffic and one driver to be stranded on the roof of his car
- Beachmere recorded 80mm of rain in an hour on Tuesday, while 70mm bucketed down on The Upper Lockyer
- Queensland Fire and Emergency search flooded cars on Longlands Street at Woolloongabba in Brisbane
A month’s worth of rain and tennis ball-sized hailstones have been dumped on southeast Queensland, leading to flash-flooding with cars fully submerged on Brisbane‘s streets.
Several main roads were flooded by Tuesday evening, leaving motorists stranded and banked up in ‘nightmare’ standstill traffic as hail hammered down on parts of the state.
Rescue crews were called to flooded roads where cars were submerged as the heavy deluge caused waters to rapidly and unexpectedly rise.
Members of the Swift Water Rescue team from the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services were seen searching flooded cars on Longlands Street at Woolloongabba in Brisbane on Tuesday afternoon
Flooded cars are seen on Longlands Street at Woolloongabba in Brisbane on Tuesday following torrential rain
Beachmere recorded 80mm of rain in an hour on Tuesday, while 70mm bucketed down on The Upper Lockyer, west of Brisbane. Pictured: Flooded cars are seen on Longlands Street at Woolloongabba in Brisbane
One stranded motorist was forced to seek refuge on the roof of his car while waiting for a Swift Water Rescue crew to free him.
In other parts of the city, drivers returned to their cars which were parked at garages and bus stops to learn they’d been flooded, while pictures show bins and random objects floating down main streets.
Several car accidents had been reported by 6.30pm, while trees were down and flash flooding blocked access to other main roads out of the state’s capital.
RAQC urged Queenslanders to stay at home and said even as the rain eases, the repercussions of the storm will last well into the night.
Flooding was also reported in Gatton, east of Toowoomba, and Beachmere, near Caboolture.
‘Eighty millimetres of rain in an hour is hard to get rid of,’ meteorologist Rosa Hoff said. ‘Very damp indeed.’
Beachmere recorded 80mm of rain in an hour on Tuesday, while 70mm bucketed down on The Upper Lockyer, west of Brisbane, the Bureau of Meteorology reported.
‘That’s a month’s rain in the space of an hour,’ meteorologist Felim Hanniffy told AAP.
One motorist was pictured seeking refuge on the roof of his car, which was almost entirely submerged
The series of severe thunderstorms pushed west towards Warwick, Toowoomba, the Lockyer Valley and Kilcoy earlier on Tuesday. Pictured: Rescue teams searching for trapped passengers
‘In some areas of northern Brisbane 50mm fell in 30 minutes.’
Almost 50mm of rain fell in an hour at Kalbar in the Scenic Rim and more than 60mm of rain dumped on Helidon, near Toowoomba.
The series of severe thunderstorms pushed west towards Warwick, Toowoomba, the Lockyer Valley and Kilcoy earlier on Tuesday.
At least 5,500 homes lost power as a result of the horror weather.
But by evening the line of massive storms had moved east out to sea and the bureau cancelled a severe thunderstorm warning for the southeast coast and parts of the Capricornia, Wide Bay and Burnett and Darling Downs and Granite Belt.
More severe thunderstorms are forecast for Wednesday.
In NSW, more intense weather is forecast throughout the week, with the Bureau of Meteorology warning the central interior of the state is set for a soaking on Wednesday.
Gosford on the NSW Central Coast received 128mm of rain in 24 hours, while Wallis Lake on the mid-north coast was soaked by 248mm in three hours on Monday afternoon.
Dubbo is expected to get a week’s worth of rain in a day.
Thunderstorms are also likely, especially in the north-east of the state.
With the La Nina system meaning Australia will have a soggy summer, Mr Martin says he’s just hoping it doesn’t flood.
Rescue workers from the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services search flooded cars on Longlands Street in Brisbane
The series of severe thunderstorms pushed west towards Warwick, Toowoomba, the Lockyer Valley and Kilcoy earlier on Tuesday. Pictured: Queensland Fire and Emergency Services search flooded cars at Woolloongabba in Brisbane
‘We’ve moved from the drought and fires, through the whole range of issues like frost, mice plagues and even grub infestations, and now we’ve got hail storms and weather damage,’ he said.
‘We have coped with the dust and the smoke, but if we can stay away from flooding, we’ll be pretty pleased to get Christmas and get what crop we can in silos.’
Sydney, the Central Coast and Hunter region were battered by heavy rain and strong winds on Monday, but are likely to be spared the brunt of the weather forecast for Wednesday, BOM says.
The state’s southern coastline and the northwest will also miss out.