Lightning strikes 62,000 times, uproots trees and roofs


FEROCIOUS and spectacular electrical and hail storms tore through Gympie region on Monday night, as a series of dangerous storm events continued to come in from the south-west.

And it could be even worse today, before a cooler south-easterly change moves in tomorrow, a Bureau of Meteorology forecaster said yesterday.

Buildings were damaged, trees snapped off and roofs were damaged.

A horse was struck by lightning at Goomboorian as strong wind gusts and hail came in from the South Burnett, where golf ball sized hail was recorded at Kingaroy.

Energex reported 62,000 lightning strikes between Bribie Island and Rainbow Beach.

And 2546 Energex customers were without power in the Gympie region.


Squally Monday night conditions caused severe local conditions with emergency crews called in to help tarp roofs at Southside.

MAURIE and Joyce Shanks were stunned when a fully grown pine tree in their neighbour's front yard literally broke in half and fell on their Silky Oak Dve home near Glastonbury Rd.

"It's a big old hoop pine and the borers got the better of it," Mrs Shanks said yesterday.

"They had been going to take it out.

"Fortunately and unfortunately, it wrecked the verandah but not the house.

"If it had been only a little bit over, it would have come into the house," she said.

"And it just clipped the corner of the garage, which is also lucky, or my car would have been wrecked too."

The couple, both in their eighties, spent the day under the remains of their verandah roof waiting for insurance assessors to arrive.

"It's a huge tree," she said.

To Gympie's north and west, an Ergon Energy Spokesman said an outage at Kilkivan sub-station had been quickly fixed, but had affected about 8000 people including residents of Kilkivan, Curra and to the north.

Energex said its affected customers were all reconnected by midnight.

Pam Fitzgerald of Watson Rd was enjoying a beer on her back verandah just after dark when she was hit by a wall of horizontal rain. She got inside and the power went out. Police refuted an apparently malicious hoax Facebook posting claiming a man had died near Nanango when a tree fell on his house.



Topics:  damage gympie storm-prep storms

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