UPDATE, 12.30PM:

 

Isaac Regional Mayor Anne Baker and SES local controller Alex McPhee says the storm damage in the region after Tuesday night's wild weather was far worse than Cyclone Debbie.

 

It comes as residents and emergency service personnel continue to inspect the damage, with at least 14 roofs torn from homes and all schools in Moranbah closed for the day.

 

WIDESPREAD damage in the wake of a "Cyclone-Debbie" like storm is inescapable across Central Queensland.

Social media is awash with photos and videos of damage after a severe thunderstorm lashed the region yesterday, with roaring wind gusts around 100kmh tearing some townships to shreds.

 

 

The worst hit areas include Moranbah (104kmh wind gusts at 7.02pm), Emerald (90kmh wind gusts at 5.57pm), Clermont (93kmh wind gusts at 5.53pm).

Crane operator from Rural View, Luke Farnell said it was equivalent to the Cyclone Debbie.


"Mate I would describe it as catastrophic," he said. The 40-year-old, born and bred in Mackay, said the storm had taken down power poles, poinciana trees that were more than eight inches round, lifted-up and pushed trampolines 12m and "a mate's roof was blown off and his neighbour's room was half ripped off".


"It lasted for 25 minutes of absolutely gale force winds," he said.

While the Bureau of Meteorology cancelled a severe thunderstorm warning for the region as of 1.26am today, more storms are predicted today and warnings to be updated accordingly.

 

Modelling shows another storm is predicted for Central Queensland this morning.
Modelling shows another storm is predicted for Central Queensland this morning.

Emerald, Bluff, Clermont and Moranbah residents took to Facebook to share reports of power outages and accounts of their experience as the super cell battered the region, dumping heavy rainfall and damaging winds.

Thousands of homes were still without power this morning.

In Moranbah, which is thought to be one of the hardest hit areas, the energy provider says about 2000 customers are without power and have been since 7pm last night.

Isaac Regional Council crews will be out in force today assisting with the post-storm clean-up across the region, with mayor Anne Baker assuring council would coordinate efforts with emergency services and essential service providers.

"I would ask for people to remain patient while service providers work to clean up and repair the storm damage. We are encouraging people to avoid unnecessary travel today," Cr Baker said.

"This was a significant storm event which many have already compared to Cyclone Debbie in terms its impact and widespread damage."

The Moranbah Airport recorded a wind gust of 104kmh shortly after 7pm, and almost 45mm fell in a three-hours period.

The storm brought some cool relief to Rockhampton after a week-long heatwave saw temperatures break 40°C, but the weather was undoubtedly more tame than in other parts of the region.

Rockhampton has received 10.4mm of rain since 9am yesterday, and wind gusts peaked at 35kmh in the afternoon.

 

Angela Mathers shares the damage after a storm lashed Bluff.
Angela Mathers shares the damage after a storm lashed Bluff. Angela Mathers

Yeppoon recorded its highest wind gust of 44kmh at 4.30am today, but only received 4mm of rain since 9am yesterday.

Emerald was dumped with 22.4mm of rain in the from 9am yesterday to 7am today.

Blackwater received 59.6mm; Moranbah 44.6mm; Clermont 23.4mm.

The BoM's rainfall radar shows moderate to heavy rainfalls remain off the Capricorn Coast over Great Keppel Island, and south of Rockhampton, over the Gladstone, Biloela, Miriam Vale and Bundaberg areas.

UPDATE 8.22PM: THOUSANDS of homes are still without power this morning after a super-storm-cell ripped through the Mackay region leaving devastation in its path. 

 

Ergon's outage finder website reports 334 customers in Ball Bay are presently without power and have been since 9.46pm last night. 

 

The energy provider states crews were unable to continue their work. 

 

And it's a similar story in Cape Hill, Hillsborough, Mackay, Port Newry and Seaforth where 553 customers are without power as a result of the storm's damage. 

 

In Moranbah, which is thought to be one of the hardest hit areas, the energy provider says about 2000 customers are without power and have been since 7pm last night. 

 

The Bureau of Meteorology's wind gauge at Moranbah Airport recorded gusts of 104km/h between 7.02 and 7.06pm last night. 

 

A wind gust of 76km/h was recorded at Mackay Airport at 11.44pm last night. 

 

UPDATE 9.54PM: MORE than 10,000 properties lost power on Tuesday, about 9.40pm in the Mackay and Isaac regional council areas. 

 

It was the result of a suspected super-cell which has ripped through the coal fields in the afternoon and evening with winds up to 104kmhr. 

 

 

Close to 3000 of those homes and businesses without power are in Moranbah. 

 

A Queensland Fire and Emergency Services spokeswoman said 10 calls to State Emergency Services had been made in the Moranbah area for "significant" jobs, including fallen trees across roads and roofs off houses. 

 

It is understood SES was patrolling with Queensland Police officers to ensure roads to hospitals are not obstructed.

 

Two Qantaslink flights to Moranbah were delayed and two others were diverted to Mackay tonight as strong winds batter the region.

Virgin flight VA621 from Brisbane due to land in Mackay at 9.45pm has been delayed and is currently circling the sky offshore.

Mackay Airport logged windspeeds of 67km/h at 9.30pm according to BOM.

 

Part of a sail ripped off in Moranbah
Part of a sail ripped off in Moranbah

 

EARLIER 9.30pm: 

 

SEVERE thunderstorms are likely to produce damaging winds and heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding in the warning area over the next several hours.

 

Locations which may be affected include Mackay, Proserpine, Charters Towers, Bowen, Townsville, Moranbah, Collinsville, Hamilton Island, St Lawrence, Sarina, Pentland and Ayr.

There have been weather observations of wind gust at Emerald of 90km/hr at 5:57pm, wind gust at Clermont of 93km/hr at 5:53pm, 4-8cm hailstones Northwest of Clermont at about 3:50pm, 2-4cm hailstones at Bluff at about 3:30pm. 

EARLIER 8.15pm:

 

POWERLINES are down, roofs have been ripped off and trees knocked over after a severe storm rolled through Moranbah and the coal fields this evening.


The Bureau of Meteorology recorded winds speeds of over 100km/h in the mining town just after 7pm.


Crane operator from Rural View, Luke Farnell said it was equivalent to the Cyclone Debbie when it passed through Mackay on March 28.


"Mate I would describe it as catastrophic," he said.


The 40-year-old, who was born and bred, in Mackay said the storm had taken down power poles, poinciana trees that were more than eight inches round, lifted-up and pushed trampolines 12m and "a mate's roof was blown off and his neighbour's room was half ripped off".


"It lasted for 25 minutes of absolutely gale force winds," he said.
"Moranbah has lost all of its power."


He said the lightning was "blue" and he wasn't sure if that was transformers exploding.
"It was something like I have never witnessed before," he said.


BOM meteorologist Michael Paech said there were winds of up to 104km/h recorded at 7.03pm at Moranbah Airport and it was suspected it was a super cell. 


"We had significant cells through the coal fields and Isaac today and a number of severe observations," he said.


These observations also included winds of 93km/h at Clermont, 91kmhr south of Emerald.


The weather also brought rain, with 51mm recorded in Moranbah, and 48mm at Deverill.


Mackay Police Inspector Ian Haughton has urged people in the area to stay safe and not to travel unnecessarily.
"The best place for you to be as this storm hits is safely inside your homes," he said.


"We have seen the power of it as it hit Moranbah, and although it has caused damage to a number of powerlines and trees, we haven't received any reports on injuries to people.


"I would like to ask people that don't need to be on the roads to please stay at home. We need those roads accessible to all our emergency services to respond quickly if the need arises.


"Also make sure that you don't approach or touch powerlines that may have been bought down."



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