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Hailstones the size of cricket balls have fallen in the Sunshine Coast hinterland as parts of Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast were hit by storms this afternoon.
- Severe thunderstorm activity has brought giant hailstones to parts of the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane
- Trees have also been brought down amid damaging winds
- The storm cut power to about 10,000 people
Lauren Murphy from the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) said there had been severe thunderstorm activity on Queensland’s east coast, south of Rockhampton, as well as “several significant cells delivering large to giant hail around the Sunshine Coast hinterland”.
The BOM had issued a warning for people in parts of Redland City, Sunshine Coast, Brisbane City and Moreton Bay for “destructive winds” and “giant hailstones”.
Severe thunderstorms were detected on the weather radar near Redcliffe, Beachmere and Brisbane Airport.
Videos posted to social media showed cars being hammered by large hailstones and fierce winds whipping up leaves and other debris in suburban streets.
Brian, a resident of Strathpine on the Sunshine Coast, said he was driving home from Mooloolaba when the storm hit.
“I had to pull over to the side of the road; I couldn’t see, it was terrible,” he said.
“I was just getting pelted with a hell of a lot of hail and it was very noisy. It seemed to go for a fair while.
“We were on the beach when we saw the storm front coming. We knew it was time to go but didn’t quite get far enough.”
Another man reported some damage to his car, while another said the local Woolworths had been damaged in the storm.
Stacey, another resident, was inside a cafe having lunch when it hit.
“Hail and rain started coming in everywhere,” she said.
“It just started bouncing off everywhere, it was quite big.”
Her young daughter, who had been scared by the storm, chimed in saying “it hit me on the finger”.
The huge storm cell brought much needed rain but it also damaged a number of buildings in the process. (Supplied: Josh Whiting)
About 10,000 people across the Sunshine Coast were also left without power.
Trees were brought down in Buderim, crushing cars, while a 30-metre high Norfolk pine tree fell at Alexandra Headland.
The BOM warned lightning could make conditions worse for fire crews.
Desma Peck told the ABC almost every car on the Bruce Highway near Palmview had cracked windscreens from the hail. (Supplied: Desma Peck)
“We saw several fires lit by some dry lightening activity yesterday and that risk continues again today,” BOM senior forecaster Lauren Murphy said.
“We saw isolated rainfall totals between 20 to 50 millimetres when multiple storms head over the same location.”