Lightning strikes the property Bethany at Kingaroy. Picture: Josh Bjelke-Petersen
Lightning strikes the property Bethany at Kingaroy. Picture: Josh Bjelke-Petersen

UPDATE: Power restored and water restrictions lifted

THURSDAY, 10.30: SOUTH Burnett Regional Council has now removed the emergency Kingaroy town water restrictions.

The restrictions revert back to level 3 restrictions which apply across the South Burnett region town water supply.

"Council would like to take this opportunity to thank the Kingaroy community for complying with the restrictions and your patience during this event," the council said.

About 300 homes remain without power across the region, with the majority of those homes expected to be re-connected to the grid later today.

WEDNESDAY, 12.15PM: More than 2000 customers are still without power after yesterday's storms, an Ergon energy spokesman said.

Rod Rehbein from Ergon Energy said additional crews had been called in to help with the recovery process.

"We've got additional crews that have come from Hervey Bay, Bundaberg and Gayndah to help out," Mr Rehbein said.

He said the main issue and the cause of most power outages was falling trees and debris.

"Typically it's trees coming down onto the powerlines and bringing them down," he said.

"That would normally be the major issue we have with storms of that nature. Particularly when it's that powerful, gusty wind like we've seen in the videos."

Mr Rehbein said no concrete restoration time had been set for those affected, adding it could take some time for power to be restored due to difficult conditions.

"One of the other issues will be access. Wet conditions will determine when we can get power back on," he said.

UPDATE, 9.50AM: Several South Burnett roads are currently closed due to damage caused by last night's severe thunderstorms.

According to the South Burnett Regional Council, the following roads are closed:

  • Burrandowan Road 
  • Wooden Hut Road
  • Deep Creek Road
  • River Road
  • Beils Road
  • Reedy Creek Road
  • Memerambi Gordonbrook Road
  • Wicks Road
  • Haly Creek Road
  • Bookless Road
  • Lillian Avenue
  • Findlays Road
  • Kumbia Minmore Road
  • Mannuem Road
  • Ellesmere Road North (Dirt Section)

On its Facebook page, the council said it was unknown at this time when the roads would be open to traffic as crews were out in the region removing trees and debris.

A council spokesperson added that although roads may not be closed, there could still be significant on the road.

Extreme caution is advised, especially in areas such as Hivesville and Mondure where significant damage is recorded.

Phone 4189 9100 to report trees, debris and blockage on roads.

UPDATE, 9AM: Bureau of Meteorology meteorologist Gordon Banks said more severe storms were on the way for the South Burnett today. 

"The focal point for storms today is probably going to be over the Carnarvon's to your west," he said.

"Kingaroy and the Darling Downs are all likely to see severe storms about today. 

"It's still very unstable across southeast Queensland, with the focus inland from the coast. There is a very good chance of seeing severe storms this afternoon and evening."

Mr Banks could not confirm reports of a tornado being seen in parts of the South Burnett.

"It's possible, though we generally wouldn't include a tornado in a severe weather warning unless we had a confirmed sighting," he said.

"Because even though they are possible they are extremely rare."

WEDNESDAY, 8.15AM: South Burnett Regional Council has imposed temporary Emergency Water Restrictions for the Kingaroy town area. 

In a statement the council said the emergency restrictions apply from 5am Wednesday 27 December 2017.

"These restrictions are required as the Kingaroy Water Treatment Plant has been without power supply since storms brought down power lines yesterday afternoon. Power has yet to be restored," the council said.

"Some areas of Kingaroy may experience reduced pressure or no supply of water. This is due to a number of power outages across the area.

"Council requests that water use is restricted to internal use and essential external use only, such as cleaning of windscreens, pet enclosures or emergency purposes. Watering of gardens and lawns is not permitted.

"Once Ergon Energy have restored power to the site and the Water Treatment Plant can begin pumping water to town, Council will remove these restrictions."

The Kumbia Tennis Court was damaged following a storm on Boxing Day.
The Kumbia Tennis Court was damaged following a storm on Boxing Day. Contributed

About 2000 homes across the South Burnett remain without power following the Boxing Day storm.

South Burnett South SES Controller Arthur Dawson said SES crews, as well as fire and council crews had been out since last night responding to damage.

"We had a lot of trouble getting into (places) due to trees on the roads and highways," he said.

"Kumbia is one of the places that has been hit (badly), but everywhere has had a severe hit through that area.

"From the Bunya Mountains, right through to Boondooma."

If you require assistance from the SES phone 132 500. 

TUESDAY 9.30PM: The severe thunderstorm warning for parts of the South Burnett has been cancelled.

In a statement at 9.19pm the Bureau of Meteorology said thunderstorms were still affecting the area.

"However there is no longer any evidence of severe phenomena, and the immediate threat of severe thunderstorms has passed. 

"The situation will continue to be monitored and further warnings will be issued if necessary."

Pretty hectic hail storm in Kinga..

A post shared by Luke Magick (@luke_magick) on

Earlier on Tuesday BOM meteorologist Gordon Banks said a number of factors were influencing both the Christmas Day and Boxing Day storms. 

"It's been hot and humid and there are high levels of moisture, a deep moisture, in the atmosphere," he said.

"The only thing missing is instability and that's being provided by the upper trough sitting to the south.

"It's not moving much, so that's why we are getting a re-hit today of yesterday activity and it'll most likely happen again tomorrow."

About 3210 homes are now without power across the region.

Naomi Brooker shared this image of the boxing day storm in Kingaroy.
Naomi Brooker shared this image of the boxing day storm in Kingaroy. Naomi Brooker

Earlier: Severe thunderstorms have torn down trees and blocked roads across the South Burnett.

Kumbia is one of the worst towns affected, with fallen trees blocking both lanes of the Bunya Highway near the town.

The Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads said delays were expected and urged motorists to proceed with caution.  

According to the Ergon Energy about 2850 homes, from Kingaroy, to Kumbia and up to Murgon are currently without power.

For all of the outages there is currently no estimated fix time. 

And while it may appear storms were over in some parts of the region, more are on the way.

In a statement the Bureau of Meteorology warned that at 8:25 pm a severe thunderstorm was detected on the weather radar near Proston and Lake Boondooma.

"This thunderstorm is moving towards the northeast," BOM said.

"It is forecast to affect Wondai, Murgon, Cherbourg, the area northwest of Murgon, the area north of Lake Boondooma and the area northeast of Lake Boondooma by 8:55 pm and the ranges south of Gayndah, Goomeri, the area east of Murgon and the area north of Goomeri by 9:25 pm.

"Damaging winds and heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding are likely."

Winds of up to 85km/h were detected in some parts of the region as well as hailstones the size of golf balls.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services advise people should: 

  • Move your car under cover or away from trees. 
  • Secure loose outdoor items. 
  • Never drive, walk or ride through flood waters. If it's flooded, forget it. 
  • Seek shelter, preferably indoors and never under trees. 
  • Avoid using the telephone during a thunderstorm. 
  • Beware of fallen trees and powerlines. 
  • For emergency assistance contact the SES on 132 500. 

The next warning is due to be issued by 9:30 pm.

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