Hail across Rockhampton.
Hail across Rockhampton.

Hailstorm aftermath reveals widespread damage

The widespread damage caused by Sunday afternoon's hailstorm has become apparent with car yards, businesses and residents reporting substantial damage caused by the tennis ball-size stones.

Insurance assessors are run off their feet today as RACQ Club spokeswoman Lucinda Ross said RACQ had already received 150 motor vehicle claims and 40 home claims overnight.

The insurer is bracing for claims to reach the thousands in the coming weeks.

"Sunday's storm really hit central Queensland hard, with Rockhampton suburbs like Berserker, Frenchville and Yeppoon seeing the worst of the damage," Ms Ross said.

Bungundarra was hit hard as hailstones shot through car windows
Bungundarra was hit hard as hailstones shot through car windows

"We expect to see the number of claims increase significantly over the coming days as more residents assess damage to their property and vehicles.

"Unfortunately, we've seen plenty of smashed windscreens, damaged rooves and broken windows as the hail came in hard and fast across the region."

SES Rockhampton co-ordinator Eddie Cowie said local crews were tasked to over 40 jobs following the storm and he expects jobs to continue to come in over the next few weeks.

Bungundarra was hit hard as hailstones shot through car windows
Bungundarra was hit hard as hailstones shot through car windows

"As was the case with (cyclone) Marcia, people didn't realise they had serious damage for months after because there was no follow up rain," he said.

"For that reason, we would recommend people get in touch with a plumber or handy man to assess damages - which you should be doing regularly anyway."

Mr Cowie said the most common cause for call outs were damage to fibro and tile rooves, skylights and windows, but high winds in parts had also fell trees.

Of the 40 call outs, he said many of those were for multiple dwellings such as unit complexes.

A worker from DC Motors estimated 20-30 per cent of all cars in all yards had sustained dents during the hailstorm.

He said insurance will cover repairs and he was confident most of the vehicle's damage were minor and could be repaired.

Insurance assessors are at the car yards today to total the costs.

Solar panels across the region were worse for wear after the storm with Brett Hughston from Yeppoon Electrical and Solar saying he will be busy for a while.

Mr Hughston said since the storm, he had more than 40 calls for repairs to solar panels across the region.

Smashed solar panels after the Rockhampton hailstorm on Sunday afternoon
Smashed solar panels after the Rockhampton hailstorm on Sunday afternoon

He said the jobs he had seen so far included some entire panels completely damages, some with minor damage and even some where hail had penetrated all the way through.

He expects more calls to come as affected residents consult with their insurers.

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Kimba Wong said the storm caused upper trough sitting over eastern Queensland now moved off the east coast.

"We had reports of 8-10-centimetre diameter hail - there's certainly potential for some serious damage with hail of that size," she said.

Ethan Rose's kids collect hail stones in Allenstown
Ethan Rose's kids collect hail stones in Allenstown

Despite the wild storm, she said rainfall totals were patchy and further rain is not expected.

"In terms of rainfall, we didn't have a huge amount in the rain gauges from those storms," Ms Wong said.

"We had scatters 30mm rainfall totals associated with those storms through the Capricornia region - up to 55mm at Byfield.

"We're expecting none of that thunderstorm activity over the next few days."

Ms Ross said a dedicated contactless site for hail claim assessments established shortly, to maintain social distancing through the COVID-19 period.

Buckets of hail collected in Wandal
Buckets of hail collected in Wandal

"We'll establish a dedicated assessment and repair site with our specialist hail repairer, Platinum Hail Management Solutions, in the region where our members can drive up and have their car assessed for hail damage without having to exit the vehicle," she said.

"For members whose homes have been damaged by hail or storm water, we'll be conducting digital assessments to ensure we don't put either members or staff at any risk."


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