THIS afternoon's storm has destroyed a piece of Toowoomba history in the city's CBD.

Since Bell St became a mall back in the 1980s, a large tree has occupied a large space toward the eastern end of the mall.

However, the big tree came crashing down in the wind and rain that pelted Toowoomba just after 1pm.


Large tree falls in Bell Street Mall. Storm damage. October 2018
The Bell St Mall tree lies across the mall, a victim of today's wild storm. Bev Lacey

"It came down with an awful bang," Murrays Coaches operations manager Jamie Butler said.

Mr Butler was working in the Murrays Coaches office when the tree came down, narrowly missing Murrays and grazing the Neato Employment Services next door.

"I was busy trying to keep water from coming in under the door at the time when I heard the crack," he said.

"It was sort of like a clap of thunder without the lightning.

"It's a shame really, it's a beautiful old tree."

During the storm the CBD laneway temporarily became the Bell St Squall with wind and rain rushing through the open spaces.

Muller Bros nearby had to close its doors after water soaked the front bar area.

"We heard the noise (of the tree falling) but didn't know what it was at first," explained Monique Yuginovich of Muller Bros.

"Luckily it fell the way it did and didn't land on anyone given so many people walk through the mall.

"We had people in the restaurant but they were very understanding.

"We got some water inside so after the rain stopped we thought it best for everyone to close up."

Staff were mopping up when The Chronicle visited just after the storm.

The Chronicle has fielded a number of calls from readers reporting trees down on houses and cars.

Two Queensland Fire and Emergency Service units responded to a tree on the roof of a house in Simla St, Mt Lofty, while another house in Rob St,Newtown, also had a brush with a falling tree.

A number of cars in Wallace St, Newtown, also sustained damage from falling tree branches and at least one shopper in down town Toowoomba was in for a shock when returning to their car parked on Victoria St which had been struck by a falling tree.

A number of intersections remain flooded and a number of suburbs remain under power blackouts.

Police are urging motorists to drive to the conditions and remember "If it's flooded, forget it!"