Gold Coast smashed by severe lightning storm
5.50AM UPDATE: The Gold Coast has woken to the sight of spectacular lightning strikes and sounds of thunder after a severe storm passed through the area.
Up until just before 6am, a severe thunderstorm warning was in place for people in parts of the Gold Coast and Redland City Council Council areas.
Pictures have been flooding in on social media of the lightning bolts over the sky on the Gold Coast and northern NSW.
Northern Rivers copped about 40mm of rain overnight, while a similar amount dumped on the Gold Coast.
Around 4am the storm began with some lightning and thunder before the heavy rain came.
Suburbs across the Gold Coast and northern New South Wales have been affected with power outages across the region, the Gold Coast Bulletin reported.
During the peak of the storm ENERGEX reported about 20,000 people were without power on the Gold Coast in suburbs from Surfers Paradise to Burleigh Heads.
About 15,000 people are now without power.
The storm went out to sea from the Gold Coast but a band reached up to the Sunshine Coast.
Lightning was also seen on the Sunshine Coast but not to to the same level as that experienced on the Gold Coast.
ABC Gold Coast's breakfast show's presenter admitted she was rattled by the sounds of the early morning thunder, despite having a soundproof studio.
In its official advice just before 6am, the Bureau of Meteorology said severe thunderstorms are no longer affecting the Southeast Queensland area (east of Dalby from Rainbow Beach to Stanthorpe).
"The immediate threat of severe thunderstorms has passed, but the situation will continue to be monitored and further warnings will be issued if necessary."
Earlier BOM said severe thunderstorms were likely to produce heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding in the warning area over the next several hours.
Locations which were being affected included Southport, Coomera, Hope Island, South Stradbroke Island, Jacobs Well and mouth of the Logan River.
A more general severe thunderstorm warning was also in place for parts of the Southeast Coast district.
4.30AM: A severe thunderstorm warning is in place for people in parts of the Scenic Rim and Gold Coast Council areas.
Severe thunderstorms are likely to produce heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding in the warning area over the next several hours.
Locations which may be affected include Coolangatta, Mudgeeraba, Canungra, Nerang, Southport and Mount Tamborine.
A more general severe thunderstorm warning is also current for parts of the Southeast Coast district.
The next warning is due to be issued by 5:40 am.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services advises that people should:
- Never drive, walk or ride through flood waters. If it's flooded, forget it.
- Seek shelter, preferably indoors and never under trees.
- Avoid using the telephone during a thunderstorm.
- Beware of fallen trees and powerlines.
- For emergency assistance contact the SES on 132 500.