Brisbane Stunned By Severe Storm: ‘No Time To Evacuate, No Warning’
The worst hail storm to hit Brisbane in a generation has been declared a catastrophe by insurers and prompted the Queensland government to call in the military to help clean up the damage.
Residents left counting the costs had already begun work in darkness overnight.
The half-hour squall on…

The worst hail storm to hit Brisbane in a generation has been declared a catastrophe by insurers and prompted the Queensland government to call in the military to help clean up the damage.

Residents left counting the costs had already begun work in darkness overnight.

The half-hour squall on Thursday afternoon – dumping up to 70mm of rain and hail as big as tennis balls – punched holes in glass skyscrapers, lifted apartment block roofs and shattered windows in thousands of properties and cars across the city.

The Queensland premier, Campbell Newman, told ABC radio the storm was “probably the worst to hit city as a whole since 1985”.

Newman said 39 people called ambulances during the storm, but only 12 patients were taken to hospital and none had life-threatening injuries.

Malena Salinas came home to find the wreckage of the roof from her three storey unit block in Toowong on the street in front of her.

The University of Queensland speech pathology student, originally of Texas, told Guardian Australia that she was “used to seeing hurricanes but this was so quick – and it wasn’t a hurricane, it was just water”.

“It was all of a sudden, no time to evacuate, no warning,” she said. “I just feel so bad for [unit] five. They’re students. Everything was destroyed.”

Another shaken resident on the third floor took refuge in the bathroom as the roof was peeled off.

“There was no time to leave,” Salinas said, “because you can see the windows shattered and it was pretty dangerous to walk down [the stairwell] and have the glass come down.”

Sheets of metal roofing fell on a car that Salinas’ landlord was trying to park in the garage to avoid hail damage. She received minor injuries.

The rest of the roof wound up in a twisted heap on Coronation Drive, one of the city’s major riverside boulevards.

A resident of another apartment block 650m away said she believed some of that metal roofing on Coronation Drive was from her own building.

“It matches what’s out front,” said the woman, who asked not to be named. “It was pretty strong winds. It was like a mini cyclone.”

The sixth floor apartment which lost its roof above her was about to go to auction, she said.

Salinas’ landlord said the normally placid Brisbane river was whipped up into “Noosa surf” like swells, forcing a council catamaran ferry to cut its engine and ride out the storm in the middle of the river.

The woman, after a quick visit to the doctor and with family and cleaning equipment in tow, began cleaning up

A beat police officer posted to guard another Toowong street with a fallen power line said the roof of a nearby house had also “caved in – but luckily no injuries”.

That storm caused just over $2bn damage in today’s money, according to the Insurance council of Australia.

The ICA said insurers took 2,000 calls within hours of Thursday’s squall.

As of 9am they had received 8100 claims worth an estimated $61m, consisting of 4500 under homes and contents policies and 3600 for motor vehicles.

An Ica spokesman said this figure was expected to rise sharply over the next several days.
Brisbane storm in Yeronga. Video: Jared Bazley

Newman said it was a “ferocious storm” that left “particularly bad” damage in the city’s south.

But he said the full impact of the storm was not known on Wednesday night while authorities were “troubled by the hours of darkness, the fog of war”.

The state government estimated the damage bill could top $100m, eclipsing the $86m bill left by the 2008 storm at The Gap, which damaged hundreds of homes.

More than 50,000 homes and businesses remained without power in Brisbane on Thursday, 1,100 on the Gold Coast, 1,900 at Logan, 2,100 in the Moreton Bay region and 1,200 in Redland City.

The SES said most calls had come from a corridor of damage about 60km long and about 10km wide

A spokesman for the Bureau of Meteorology, Richard Wardle, said Thursday’s storm dumped close to a month’s worth of rain on some parts of the city in a very short period.

“We had 72mm of rainfall at Archerfield, over 60mm of that fell in about 20 minutes. Just to put that in context the average rainfall out there is 78mm for the month of November.”

Residents were warned to avoid fallen power lines and shattered glass on streets as emergency crews declared securing live lines their priority over restoring power supply.

Greens senator Larissa Waters said her “heart goes out to everyone dealing with the storm damage this morning”.

“Tragically, we know that extreme weather events will become more frequent and damaging as climate change worsens,” she said.

“Disasters like this drive home that we need global action on climate change and that Australia can help by being a leader rather than lagging.”

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About Earth Changes Media w/ Mitch Battros

Mitch Battros is a scientific journalist who is highly respected in both the scientific and spiritual communities due to his unique ability to bridge the gap between modern science and ancient text. Founded in 1995 – Earth Changes TV was born with Battros as its creator and chief editor for his syndicated television show. In 2003, he switched to a weekly radio show as Earth Changes Media. ECM quickly found its way in becoming a top source for news and discoveries in the scientific fields of astrophysics, space weather, earth science, and ancient text. Seeing the need to venture beyond the Sun-Earth connection, in 2016 Battros advanced his studies which incorporates our galaxy Milky Way - and its seemingly rhythmic cycles directly connected to our Solar System, Sun, and Earth driven by the source of charged particles such as galactic cosmic rays, gamma rays, and solar rays. Now, "Science Of Cycles" is the vehicle which brings the latest cutting-edge discoveries confirming his published Equation.
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