Weather Dangerous storms cause chaos in Queensland, NSW
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Dangerous storms cause chaos in Queensland, NSW

Goombungee home
This home at Goombungee, north of Toowoomba, lost its roof in the storm. Photo: ABC
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A powerful thunderstorm has hit Brisbane’s northern fringe, cutting power to thousands of people after earlier damaging roofs and downing trees in towns across the Darling Downs.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) said emergency services reported that the storm had torn the roof off a house at Goombungee, west of Esk.

Goombungee business owner Mark Light said about 50 millimetres of rain fell over the town in less than 20 minutes.

“We’ve got a lot of damage through our workshop and we have no power either at the moment … just the amount of water, the drains just couldn’t take the water away so we’ve got a fair bit of cleaning up today,” he said.

Esk resident Helen told ABC Radio Brisbane the storm caused substantial damage.

“We’ve had hail, trees down, trees snapped off at the top of the root,” she said.

“Esk Hampton Road is blocked to Esk and I believe that Somerset Regional Council are getting workers out there now to clear that road.”

The BOM said the heaviest falls were in Dayboro, which recorded 61 millimetres of rain in an hour.

As the storm moved further east, by 11:30am power was cut to more than 14,000 properties in the Moreton Bay council area.

As it hit the coast, the BOM downgraded the storm from dangerous to severe, with the storm warning finally cancelled about 12:15pm.

Energex spokesman Danny Donald said the storm had knocked out the Brendale substation, north of Brisbane.

“We have just lost the Brendale sub, which is probably the largest substation on the northern suburbs,” he said.

“It’s taken out power to approximately 13,500 customers — so we’re talking Cashmere, Joyner, Lawnton, Petrie, Strathpine and parts of Bray Park.

“In total, we’re looking at around 15,080 in south-east Queensland. So mother nature is certainly telling us that she is in charge right now.”

Senior forecaster Brett Harrison said the storm had damaged the roofs of several properties in the Darling Downs.

Brisbane storm
The storm clouds seen from Woody Point in Brisbane’s south-eastern suburbs. Photo: Twitter/Patrick Williams.

“Some trees down have been reported too and just recently some pretty heavy rainfall as well … almost 30 millimetres in 10 minutes just to the west of Esk,” he said.

The storm has hampered a police search for a woman missing in bushland near Esk.

Police said Valerie Donaldson, 71, was last seen walking her dog in local bushland near Argyle Court on Monday.

Storm clouds over Brisbane
The view from Clontarf, in the Moreton Bay region, as storm clouds form over Brisbane. Photo: ABC

Mr Donald said more than 600 customers around Esk lost power.

“We’ve got 10 wires down out that way as well, so it is fairly destructive as our crews are reporting out there,” he said.

Three people rescued in Sydney amid flash flooding

Meanwhile, three people have been rescued by the NSW SES amid flash flooding in Sydney’s west during the second day of storms in the state.

Two people were rescued from vehicles and one from a house as torrential rain inundated several suburbs in the west.

Erskine Park, received 60 millimetres between 9:00am and 3:00pm, while Penrith (39mm), Seven Hills (56mm), Blacktown (52mm), and Baulkham Hills (51mm) were also soggy.

About 90 children are being evacuated from a childcare centre in Orchard Hills, in the city’s western outskirts, about 50km from the CBD.

Phil Campbell from NSW SES said the organisation had received 400 calls for help from severe weather in the past two days and warned the storms would make for a difficult afternoon commute.

“We are seeing some very heavy showers move into Sydney and are urging motorists to drive with care and stay out of flood water,” he said.

“If they do come across a series of flash flooding turn around and find a safer route home.”

A savage storm moved over the state’s central-west on Monday, with heavy rain and golf ball-sized hailstones falling on some areas.

The BOM has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for large hailstones and heavy rain, which may lead to flash flooding.

Gunnedah, Moree, Narrabri, Walgett, Coonamble, Coonabarabran and Lightning Ridge are expected to be some of the worst-affected regional towns.

Parts of the Hunter, Central Coast and Illawarra areas are also expected to be affected.

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