MAJOR STRIKE: Reader Caralee Mirfin sent in this photo of lightning in Warwick yesterday afternoon.
MAJOR STRIKE: Reader Caralee Mirfin sent in this photo of lightning in Warwick yesterday afternoon.

Storm severely impacted Southern Downs

MORE than 31mm of rain was recorded on the Southern Downs yesterday after severe storms swept through the region.

Winds of up to 85km/hr tore down trees and powerlines at around 3pm, blocking roads to traffic and leaving residents without power.

The SES was called to four properties to assist with leaking roofs and fallen trees.

Around 900 Southern Downs Ergon Energy customers lost power during the storm, according to Principal Corporate Communications Adviser Brett Judge.

“We got most of them back on but there’s still a lot of work being done,” Mr Judge said.

“There’s been quite a bit of damage to the network with trees falling over lines and into poles and a couple of lightning strikes as well.”

Around 680 lightning strikes occurred over the course of the storm, according to data from Lightning Maps.

“We had five crews out last night and they’re back out this morning, plus we’re sending another three crews from Toowoomba and three up from Stanthorpe,” Mr Judge said.

Around 20 customers continue to experience power outages in Freestone, Swan Creek, Warwick, Rosehill and Greymare.

Mr Judge said it takes crews longer to restore power to rural properties because crews must do patrols and physically check the line.

Rainfall varied from 0mm recorded in Leyburn up to 31mm in Womina, with 4mm recorded in Allora and Killarney.

Warwick town centre recorded just 2mm.

Large hail affected areas to the south of Warwick, near Stanthorpe, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

“There were reports of hail and the radar suggested it came close to the threshold for large hail, at around 2cm in diameter,” meteorologist Lachlan Stoney said.

“Today the storms have moved north of Kingaroy but tomorrow is shaping up to be more active in Warwick.

“There’s probably a 20 per cent chance of rain tomorrow and the thing to look out for would be showers developing in the afternoon, with isolated thunderstorms potentially forming amongst them.”

The greatest chance for rain will be if “a chunky storm” develops overhead, but it is unlikely to produce more than 10mm.



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