INCOMING SUPERCELL: The severe thunderstorm is heading towards Gympie.
INCOMING SUPERCELL: The severe thunderstorm is heading towards Gympie. Renee Albrecht

UPDATE: Tornado warning cancelled amid destructive storms

Destructive storm, large hail pelts Gympie: Huge thunderstorms wreaked destruction in Gympie on Thursday afternoon.

>>WATCH: 'Tennis ball size' hail lashes the South Burnett

UPDATE Friday 7.30AM:

A MASSIVE clean up is under way in the Gympie region following yesterday's severe storm that left a path of destruction.

Energex workers were busy all night attending to thousands of homes left without power from yesterday's wild storms. 

Enormous hail at Gympie : Hail the size of golf balls struck the Gympie region



"We're working through our lists and will be having reinforcements from different regions come to assist," SES Deputy Local Area Controller Steve Clough said.   

*** FULL STORY and PHOTOS continues here***

 

UPDATE 5.20PM: A TORNADO warning has been cancelled but BOM warns dangerous storms are continuing north of Gympie.

Hail has begun falling in Tiaro and heavy rain was recorded in Maryborough.

WATCH: Customers evacuated as Cooloola Cove Woolworths floods

UPDATE 4.30PM:

A VERY dangerous thunderstorm near Mt Joseph with a reported Tornado earlier this afternoon - expected to continue its northeast track.

The Bureau of Meteorology warns that, at 3:45 pm, very dangerous thunderstorms were detected on the weather radar near the area north of Kilkivan and the ranges between Biggenden and Tiaro.

Intense supercell lashes parts of the Gympie region 

These thunderstorms are moving towards the northeast. Other severe thunderstorms were detected on the weather radar near Lake Boondooma.

They are forecast to affect the area north of Lake Boondooma and the area northeast of Lake Boondooma by 4:15 pm and the ranges south of Gayndah by 4:45 pm.

Destructive winds and very large hailstones likely with the potential of a tornado.

- TORNADO reported at Tansey (northwest of Murgon) around 3:12pm

- Tennis ball size hail (up to 7cm) was reported at Kumbia around midday.

- 4 to 5cm hail reported between Proston and Murgon

- 3 to 5cm hail reported at and near Gympie

- Vast property and vegetation damage across all affected towns

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services advises that people should: 

* Move your car under cover or away from trees. 

* Secure loose outdoor items.  * 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 4:45 pm.  

A more general severe thunderstorm warning is also current for the Wide Bay and Burnett, Darling Downs and Granite Belt and parts of the Central Highlands and Coalfields, Capricornia, Maranoa and Warrego and Southeast Coast districts.

Warnings are also available through TV and Radio broadcasts, the Bureau's website at www.bom.gov.au or call 1300 659 219.

The Bureau and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services would appreciate warnings being broadcast regularly.

UPDATE 3:30pm

MORE than 5,000 people in the Gympie Regional Council area have been left without power after a monstrous storm bore down on the region earlier this afternoon.

Trees blocked roads, power lines fell, rooves caved in and cars were smashed all over town as destructive winds, large hailstones and heavy rain assaulted the wider region from 1:30pm onwards.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services said they had received over 100 job calls in the hour after the storm, with 50 of those concentrated to Gympie.

Latest weather stories 

Intense supercell lashes parts of the Gympie region 

QFES said most of the calls had related to fallen trees and roof damage.

An Energex spokeswoman said 1,400 customers had lost power in Gympie itself, with a further 748 at Southside and 436 at Pie Creek.

The spokeswoman said Gympie had been hit by nearly 30,000 lightning strikes, which combined with a similar amount on the Sunshine Coast to make 60,000 in total.

She said the 73 combined Coast and Gympie Energex crews had been dispatched to restore power in damaged areas and would work rolling shifts to attend to all customers in need.

She reported 43 power lines down in the Gympie council area and warned residents to keep out of danger.

"We advise that all fallen power lines should be treated as live," she said.

"Call 13 19 62 to report any fallen power lines you see."

Large trees have been reported as downed all over the region, blocking roads and creating traffic delays.

One lucky driver reportedly escaped serious injury when a tree fell and landed on his car on Eel Creek and Rocks roads at Pie Creek around 2:30pm.

Both lanes near Kidd Bridge were closed after a two-car crash occurred during the first wave of the storm.

Gympie Regional Realty were inundated with calls from rental properties reporting roof damage.

UPDATE 2:15pm:

A two car crash has blocked traffic on Kidd Bridge.

Residents looking to avoid the storm are advised to travel on Normanby Bridge.

A spokeswoman for the Bureau of Metereology could not confirm reports of a tornado in the region but said it was "very possible" in these types of conditions.

Have a look at some of the photos taken in Nanango.

LATEST WARNING (via BoM)

For people in Noosa and parts of Gympie and South Burnett Council Areas.

Issued at 1:53 pm Thursday, 11 October 2018.

Weather Situation: Very dangerous thunderstorms southwest of Gympie and Proston are expected to continue their northeast track. Very large hail and destructive winds are expected within the core of these cells.

The Bureau of Meteorology warns that, at 1:50 pm, very dangerous thunderstorms were detected on the weather radar near the area southwest of Gympie, the area south of Gympie, the ranges between Gympie and Murgon, Amamoor and the ranges north of Jandowae. These thunderstorms are moving towards the northeast. Very dangerous thunderstorms are forecast to affect Gympie by 2:15 pm and Rainbow Beach, Wide Bay, Inskip and Inskip Point by 2:50 pm.

Destructive winds and large hailstones are likely.

Tennis ball size hail (up to 7cm) was reported at Kumbia around midday.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services advises that people should:

* Move your car under cover or away from trees.

* Secure loose outdoor items.

* 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 2:55 pm.

A more general severe thunderstorm warning is also current for the Wide Bay and Burnett and parts of the Central Highlands and Coalfields, Capricornia, Maranoa and Warrego, Darling Downs and Granite Belt and Southeast Coast districts.

Warnings are also available through TV and Radio broadcasts, the Bureau's website at www.bom.gov.au or call 1300 659 219. The Bureau and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services would appreciate warnings being broadcast regularly.

 

BREAKING: 12:30pm

The Bureau of Meteorology has warned of a severe thunderstorm which is travelling towards and could well reach Gympie within just two hours, while Higgins Storm Chasing has advised of a "possible tornado alert" at Kingaroy.

A Higgins Facebook update as of 12:15pm warned of an "extremely dangerous supercell (and) possible tornado alert" at Kingaroy, and advised residents to seek immediate shelter.

The BoM alert was released "for people in parts of Central Highlands and Coalfields, Wide Bay and Burnett, Maranoa and Warrego, Darling Downs and Granite Belt and Southeast Coast Forecast Districts" and warned of "destructive winds and very large hailstones over the next several hours".

"A dangerous thunderstorm has developed northeast of Dalby, currently shifting northeast towards Kingaroy," the warning stated.

"Severe thunderstorms are likely to produce damaging winds and large hailstones over the next several hours in parts of the Central Highlands and Coalfields, Wide Bay and Burnett, Maranoa and Warrego, Darling Downs and Granite Belt and Southeast Coast districts.

"Locations which may be affected include Dalby, Gympie, Kingaroy, Cherbourg, Nambour and Nanango."

BoM forecaster Chris Joseph said the storm is "on track for Gympie" and could reach the Gold City in as soon as two hours "if it doesn't decrease in intensity".

Mr Joseph described the storm as "very dangerous" and warned of serious wind gusts and large hail for the region.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services advises that people should:

* Move your car under cover or away from trees.

* Secure loose outdoor items.

* 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.

An update will be released by the Bureau by 2:30pm.