Wild storms offer no relief in fire crisis
WILD weather, including cricket ball-sized hail, lashed southeast Queensland yesterday, but there was no reprieve for drought-stricken farmers farther west.
In the midst of a bushfire crisis, severe storms bringing heavy rain struck the Sunshine Coast and north of Brisbane, damaging cars and flattening road signs.
The downpour had firefighters of Moreton Island jumping for joy following a morning of evacuations yesterday from Tangalooma.
At Pechey, north of Toowoomba, there was no such luck, with firefighters braced for a “significant fire event” well into the evening.
“With these thunderstorms there is a risk of dry lightning,” meteorologist Lauren Murphy said.
“We saw several fires lit by some dry lightning activity.”
The Bureau of Meteorology was braced for 20 to 50mm of rain in southeast Queensland.
Brisbane Airport received 14mm in just an hour and 15 minutes.
The Glass House Mountains saw cricket ball- sized hail, while the Moreton region and Brisbane’s north received “giant hail” more than five centimetres in diameter.
Woolworths at Currimundi had its roof collapse due to the downpour.
Video footage from inside the store showed the roof collapse about 2.30pm, with gallons of water streaming in.
Trees were also down in Buderim, crushing cars while a 30- metre high pine had fallen at Alexandra Headland.
A “mini cyclone” struck a Maroochy River farm, according to owner Troy Apps.
“It lifted up a huge group of cottonwood trees along the riverbank, 25 metres long and just lifted it out of the water,” Mr Apps said.
Despite the rain, Queensland’s fire threat remained.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said some people weren’t taking emergency situations seriously.
“I really need the people in ( Tangalooma and Pechey) to listen,” she said.
“I care more about your life, this is absolutely fundamental and I need you to listen to authorities … If you are asked to leave, please do not argue, please leave – human life is paramount.”