South-east Queenslanders could face a second round of ferocious storms after severe cells lashed the region on Sunday night, dumping huge hail and wreaking havoc on the power network.
Repair crews were scrambling to restore power to about 57,000 properties that remained without power after destructive winds, gusting beyond 100km/h in some places, downed hundreds of power lines across the region.
Workers managed to get power back on for 78,000 other properties, but Energex warned residents in storm-affected suburbs to be wary and assume any fallen lines were live and stay away.
On Monday morning, Logan City, south of Brisbane, still had more than 40,000 properties without electricity, Brisbane almost 7,000 and Redland City about 2,300.
Some people could have a long wait for the lights to come back on with power authorities saying it could be as late as Tuesday afternoon or evening in some locations.
Wild winds did much of the damage, with gusts of 109km/h recorded at Redcliffe, 107km/h in the Redlands district, and 90km/h across Brisbane. At Boonah, west of Brisbane, residents posted pictures of huge hail stones on social media.
In Brisbane a young boy was taken to hospital after suffering an electric shock while showering when a lightning bolt hit the ground near his Ferny Grove home. His injuries were not life threatening and he was taken to the Prince Charles hospital in a stable condition.
At least one school, Crestmead state school, was closed on Monday due to storm-related problems.
The severe weather also caused delays to train services on the Gold Coast and Beenleigh lines, but they later returned to normal.
In Brisbane, fans of US band Paramore had to evacuate Brisbane’s Riverstage venue before the show began, running for cover as a spectacular and dangerous light show unleashed.
The wild weather, after a day of baking heat across much of Queensland, generated more than 265,000 lightning strikes.
Forecasters said almost identical conditions on Monday could generate more gusty thunderstorms cross the south-east from Monday afternoon, including in Brisbane and on the Gold and sunshine coasts.
Brisbane was headed for 35C, Ipswich 38C, the sunshine coast 34C, and the Gold Coast 33C, helping to create the kind of instability that fed Sunday night’s storms.
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