Hailstones the size of a softballs rained down on Brisbane's
south and southwest suburbs during the height of the
thunderstorm that swept through the city on Sunday.
The Bureau of Meteorology said there were reports of
hailstones 9cm in diameter falling during what it described
as a "dangerous thunderstorm", which shut down Brisbane
Airport for a short period.
Forecaster David Grant said hailstones 4-6cm in diameter also
had been reported in the west and inner west of the CBD.
It was the second consecutive day for Queensland's southeast
being battered by ferocious storms.
Power company Energex said the storms had knocked out
electricity to more than 100,000 homes and businesses over
More than 18,000 homes and businesses were still without
power on Sunday when almost 25,000 lightning strikes were
recorded, with many hitting the electricity network.
Many of the lightning strikes occurred when a storm raced
through the Moreton Bay and Sunshine Coast council areas
early in the afternoon and in a separate storm hitting the
Logan, Brisbane and Moreton Bay council areas.
Energex asked southeast Queenslanders to remain patient while
crews worked to restore power as quickly and safely as
Qantas cancelled three out of four flights to Sydney on
Sunday, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded.
They advised Brisbane-based passengers to return home while
they promised to find hotel rooms for about 300 other
passengers who would not be flying out.
One passenger told AAP the storms that swept through were
very fierce, causing the airport to shut down operations for
at least 30 minutes.
Virgin had to divert three flights flying into Brisbane on
Sunday with two going to Rockhampton and the other to
Coolangatta, where passengers were put on buses.
It also cancelled five flights out of Brisbane where the
planes would not have been able to reach their destination
city - such as Sydney and Adelaide - before curfews took
Emergency Management Queensland advised people to move their
cars under cover and away from trees, not to attempt to
drive, walk or ride through flood waters and avoid using the
phone during a thunderstorm.
The Department of Community Safety told AAP at least 160
calls had been received on Sunday, to help with minor
flooding, leaking roofs and tarping.
At about 7pm (AEST) fans at Brisbane's Harvest music festival
had to be evacuated because of the hail, with music lovers
taking to Facebook to express their disappointment.
International acts such as Santigold, Grizzly Bear and Sigur
Ros were due to take the stage at the festival, which was
held at the Brisbane Botanical Gardens.
"We just got evacuated from Harvest Festival... All the good
bands were about to start", said Brooke Baldock of the Gold
Amy Chambers, who lives in the inner-city suburb of Dutton
Park, said Sunday night's storm was sudden and violent.
"There are a lot of trees and tree limbs down," she said.
"The rain was coming down horizontal and there was hail about
the size of a dollar coin. I've heard it was much bigger in
Ms Chambers said the wind blew so hard it forced her front