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Shock and awe: Ipswich's wild weekend

Phil Rettke had his camera at the ready when the first storm hit Ipswich on Saturday, and his preparation paid off. The Ipswich photographer, who runs Phil Rettke Photography, captured this amazing shot of lightning striking over Willowbank.
Phil Rettke had his camera at the ready when the first storm hit Ipswich on Saturday, and his preparation paid off. The Ipswich photographer, who runs Phil Rettke Photography, captured this amazing shot of lightning striking over Willowbank. Phil Rettke

THUNDER, lightning and even hail thrashed the Ipswich region over the weekend, catching many residents unaware and cutting power to more than 3000 homes and businesses.

Lightning struck a crane at the Ipswich Hospital and sparked a fire during the first storm of the weekend, about 10.30am Saturday.

Firefighters attended the hospital and traced smoke to a crane on the construction site, a Queensland Fire and Rescue spokeswoman said.

The fire was extinguished by rain but the site was evacuated as firies checked the area.

Hospital operations were not affected.

Some traffic lights in the Ipswich CBD lost power, and police directed traffic at the East and Limestone Sts intersection and the Limestone and Ellenborough Sts intersection until technicians arrived, a police spokesperson said.

The storm also caused power outages across the Ipswich and Somerset regions.

Energex reported 2525 customers were without power at 11am, with 1254 of the outages spread across Raceview, Flinders View and Ripley.

A further 1271 customers in the Somerset region were affected, with Minden, Tarampa, Lowood and Prenzlau the hardest hit.

At 1pm, Energex reported outages had spread to Ipswich and Karalee.

Another storm hit the Lockyer Valley and Ipswich on Saturday night. Gatton was hit hard, with 1473 homes and businesses losing power.

The State Emergency Service (SES) Ipswich group helped dozens of residents deal with the aftermath of the storms, group controller Arie van den Ende said.

"We had jobs around Ipswich, Goodna and Marburg," Mr van den Ende said.

"There was also a tree down and a bit of flash flooding."

Mr van den Ende said extremely heavy winds lifted roof tiles off some homes.

Yesterday, residents in Springfield, Raceview, One Mile and Deebing Heights reported hail.

In the afternoon, BoM issued a warning for a very dangerous thunderstorm detected in the Scenic Rim region.

It was forecast to affect Peak Crossing and later Bundamba, Greenbank and Redbank Plains.

Ipswich line trains were suspended between Redbank and Darra due to a power outage caused by a storm, Translink reported at 6pm.

STORM STATS

  • More than 20,000 lightning strikes hit south-east Queensland between 7pm and 11pm on Saturday - Energex.
  • The Somerset and Lockyer Valley regions, as well as Ipswich suburbs Raceview, Flinders View and Ripley, were the hardest hit by power outages.
  • The SES Ipswich group responded to dozens of calls for help, mostly in Marburg, Ipswich and Goodna.

Topics:  crane fire, ipswich hospital, queensland fire and rescue, thunderstorms


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