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Wild storms wreak havoc across region

A camper trailer is blown over on Inskip Point.RIGHT: A four wheel drive and tent campsite is destroyed in the fierce storm at Inskip.
A camper trailer is blown over on Inskip Point.RIGHT: A four wheel drive and tent campsite is destroyed in the fierce storm at Inskip. Contributed

THE Gympie region's wild weekend weather will more than likely repeat itself this week as hot days and thunderstorms are tipped to return on Thursday.

Another storm dumped heavy rain and some hail at Goomeri, Kilkivan, Widgee, Gympie, Goomboorian and the coast yesterday afternoon, adding to already good falls of about 24mm in many parts of the region from the weekend.

Some communities, like The Gap near Cedar Pocket Dam, received more than 80mm, while reports of 110mm rain came out of Lagoon Pocket, and others received just a millimetre or two.

But it was the hail and wind that had everybody talking.

Gympie and Southside SES crews attended eight call-outs on Friday night, mostly patching up hail damage to skylights, veranda perspex and windows near Veteran. Countless cars, particularly north of Gympie, had their windscreens destroyed.

SES controller Craig Miller said that on Sunday afternoon, the SES spent seven hours attending to calls at The Dawn, Kybong and The Palms, parts of whic "resembled a snowfield" after 3pm.

Most damage in those areas - particularly Rocks Rd, Jimbour Rd and Ruby Rd - was from water inundation caused by the hail forming giant ice blocks in gutters which then blocked the escape of rain water.

Sunday's weather event was the result of three storms converging on the area from Kandanga to Imbil, one from the west-southwest and two from the north.

Dawn resident Frances Klein said her family was caught out.

"My husband had taken the kids swimming in the dam, they went to get out when it started raining but the hail came so quickly they got caught in it.

"It was a fairly decent size, like the size of large marbles, and so much of it. My four-year-old son got hit on the head by the hail and was quite distressed before they managed to shelter under the small tin roof over the jetty.

"After about 15 minutes, the hail eased and they dashed with boogie boards over their heads the 200m up the hill to the house.

"The kids were distraught when they arrived at the house because they'd been stung on the legs, their feet were frozen from running on the hail and their blow-up turtle floatie had popped and disappeared.

"Meanwhile, I got stuck in the shed while our 12-year-old daughter was in the house, yelling out for everyone, not knowing where we were.

"The noise on the tin roof was deafening and the wind was quite fierce. I eventually dashed back to the house under a bucket to find the rain had blown in everywhere and the house was covered in puddles of water and strewn with leaves.

"Hot showers and chocolate seemed to calm everyone down in the end, and I got out of cleaning out the rest of the shed."

SCARY STUFF: Campers at Inskip Point struggle to keep hold of their tent as it almost blows away in high winds on Saturday.
SCARY STUFF: Campers at Inskip Point struggle to keep hold of their tent as it almost blows away in high winds on Saturday.

On Saturday, Inskip Point campers were caught in a fierce storm which wreaked havoc up and down the coast and left campsites destroyed and caravans and trailers overturned.

Campers huddled in their tents, car windscreens were smashed and motorists were forced off the road as the storm carved a trail of destruction on the Cooloola and Sunshine Coasts.

Rainbow Beach Hire-A-Camp owner Cassie Head said there was a lot of rain and wind so it was lucky most people were evacuated from the camp grounds before the storm hit.

It brought down trees and completly flattened one camp ground that was exposed to the elements.

Most of the damage occurred at a second camp ground, and although nobody was injured, one caravan was destroyed and others were damaged.

Gympie Times

Topics:  extreme weather, hail, storm, weather



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