Brisbane supercell storm leaves $100m in damage


Insurance companies are processing more than $27 million worth of initial damage claims after the supercell storm that tore through Brisbane.

Insurance companies are processing more than $27 million worth of initial damage claims after the supercell storm that tore through Brisbane.

But the state government estimates the final bill from Thursday's storm could top $100 million.

Brisbane has been left bruised and battered after the tempest swept across the city, packing wind gusts of up to 140km/h that drove hail the size of golf and tennis balls through roofs, windows and car windshields.

The winds - equivalent to a Category 2 cyclone - peeled roofs from homes and businesses, and toppled huge trees and powerlines across the city.

Parts of Brisbane received a month's rainfall in less then an hour.

The Insurance Council of Australia has declared the storm a catastrophic event, and Premier Campbell Newman has called in the army to help clean up.

About 100 personnel have been deployed from the Enoggera army barracks to clear main roads into the city and aid other aspects of the clean up.

At least 39 people were injured and 12 others taken to hospital.

But Premier Newman said none of the 39 were seriously injured, including those who needed hospital care.

"It was a terrible storm, but thankfully no one's been seriously injured or worse," Mr Newman said.

He said one of those injured was an ambulance officer who suffered cuts when a large hail stone smashed through the window of an ambulance while she was out on a job.

Premier Campbell Newman speaks with SBS reporter Brianna Roberts

Insurance council spokesman Campbell Fuller said the timing of the storm, at peak hour, meant there was a lot of damage to cars because there were more on the roads.

But he said the size of the hail had also done a lot of damage to buildings.

"Not just roofs, also doors, windows and even the facades of buildings," he said.

One of the worst supercell storms Australia has seen

The Bureau of Meteorology said the storm, which hit Brisbane about 4pm on Thursday, was an extreme event and one of the worst supercell storms Australia had seen.

In addition to the hail and ferocious winds, it also dumped close to a month's worth of rain on some parts of the city in a very short period of time.

"We had 72mm of rainfall at Archerfield, over 60mm of that fell in about 20 minutes. Just to put that in context, the average rainfall out there is 78mm for the month of November," the bureau's weather services manager Richard Wardle told AAP.

"So pretty much the entire months' rainfall in about half an hour."

He said wind speeds were also extraordinary.

"We recorded wind gusts in excess of 140km/h at Archerfield where we've seen aeroplanes and helicopters overturned on the runway.

"Those sorts of wind gusts are the same strength as those experienced in a category two tropical cyclone, albeit they were felt in a much smaller area than what you would get in a cyclone wall."

Source: AAP

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