After the destructive hailstorm in Southeast Queensland over the weekend there has been an estimated $40 million worth of insurance claims made by Queenslanders affected by hail damage.
The Sunshine Coast received the worst of the disastrous storm on Sunday afternoon, the State Emergency Services (SES) were called to over two hundred homes and businesses in the Gympie region alone.
Sunshine Coast Storm Cleanup Underway
According to the insurance industry the storm on Sunday was labelled as a catastrophic event as more than five thousand claims were lodged by 3pm on Monday afternoon. The locals captured indescribable moments of hailstone carnage, some as big as cricket balls, perforating properties and puncturing windshields.
The huge hail was accompanied by extreme winds and a large volume of lightning, causing 23,000 homes from the Gold Coast to Gympie to lose power. According to Energex there were 225,000 recorded lightning strikes from 12:00pm to 6:30pm on Sunday. There was a devastating amount of damage throughout the affected suburbs. Footage emerged of a Sunshine Coast locals’ roof being torn up and flung through the air at the peak of the storm. This catastrophic weather event caused trees to be ripped up from their roots and crush houses and fences. A photo has surfaced of a large tree collapsed on top of a white Nissan Ute.
“All hands on deck, from a council point of view, working to ensure roadways are cleared, footpaths are cleared, access to beaches are cleared,” Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson said.
“It’s a big team that’s been mobilised.”
“Clearly, there’s a lot of people harshly impacted in terms of hail damage to motor cars on the Bruce Highway in particular.”
The Extent of the Hail Damage
A spokesperson from the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service mentioned that a crew was called to assist at a property on Buderim Avenue after residents and neighbours evacuated with concerns the property was dangerous, as it was reported to be “leaning” after the storm. State Emergency Services received the most calls from Mooloolaba, Mountain Creek, Caloundra West, Palmview and Sippy Downs.
According to Energex spokesman Danny Donald the level of damage caused by a high voltage concrete power pole that had snapped near Forest Glen throughout the storm was “virtually unheard of”.
As of 11:00am on Monday morning there was still more than 200 homes without access to power across the Sunshine Coast due to damaged power lines, however, Energex teams are working incessantly to rectify the problem.
Monday afternoon RACQ had a total of 1250 vehicle claims and 298 property claims from the hailstorm. The majority of claims were from the Sunshine Coast. Suncorp received around one thousand claims, predominantly vehicle associated.
“The damage from this storm has been extensive,” RACQ spokeswoman Lucinda Ross expressed.
“We’ve seen holes in windscreens and paintwork as well as damage to patios and roofs of homes.”
Lucinda Ross estimated that the number of claims lodged is expected to rise over the coming days after the storm.
The Insurance Council of Australia reveals that it is unknown if the cost of the hailstorm will contest the $1.39 billion in hail damage claims the industry paid out when a super storm wreaked havoc in Brisbane in 2014.
Spokesman Campbell Fuller stated the valid claims for storm damage covered by household and comprehensive motor vehicle policies will be paid out.
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