Weather Massive hailstones pummel south-east Qld

Massive hailstones pummel south-east Qld

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Hailstones the size of tennis balls have pelted parts of south-east Queensland as severe thunderstorms sweep through the area.

A Bureau of Meteorology severe weather warning is in place for Redland, North Stradbroke Island, parts of the Gold Coast, Logan, Gympie and the Sunshine Coast.

The storms, which battered other parts of the region earlier on Saturday, are moving in a east-northeast direction.

The bureau says “very dangerous” thunderstorms are expected to hit Double Island Point, Rainbow Beach, the Wide Bay, Mount Cotton, Macleay Island and Victoria Point by 3pm on Saturday.

Destructive winds and large hailstones are likely.

Tennis ball-sized hail has been reported at Buderim on the Sunshine Coast and there have been reports of large hail battering Mooloolah Valley, Maroochydore and Greenbank.

Damage bill ‘into the milllions’

Authorities say the damage bill from yesterday’s hailstorms in the state’s south-east will run into the millions.

The insurance industry says it expects the damage bill to run into the millions and it could take weeks to process claims.

Queensland Fire and Rescue officer Mark Kelly says the storm was a freak event and the full extent of the damage will not be realised for days.

“Owners of houses will come home after the weekend and find their property has been damaged and there very well could be hundreds of jobs in a couple of days time and it is advisable for people to get on to their insurance companies,” he said.

Ian Masterman, who runs The Attic Cafe on the Sunshine Coast, says hailstones the size of golf balls hit the area early Saturday afternoon.

“I’ve never seen anything like this before,” the 51-year-old, who has lived on the Sunshine Coast since 2000, told AAP.

“They were bouncing off the ground and we were worried they were going to smash the windows.

“You could hear windows on the cars smashing outside.”

Mr Masterman says the hailstones fell for about 15 minutes and he’s preparing for another battering.

“We’ve brought the garden pots inside,” he said. “I don’t think it has ever hailed the whole time we’ve been here.”

A Department of Community Safety spokeswoman told AAP about 100 storm-related calls had been made to the State Emergency Service by 3pm on Saturday.

Most of the calls related to damage to homes from hail or heavy rain.

Emergency Management Queensland is advising residents to move cars under cover and secure loose outdoor items.

With ABC