TORRENTIAL RAIN CAUSES FLASH FLOODING - MARCH 9, 2001
The day started off well, with a line of spectacular storms off the coast. I took the following photos.
The line of storms extended from the far southern end of the Sunshine coast to well south of the QLD/NSW border.
By late morning conditions had changed dramatically - it had become very muggy (DP's in the mid 20's) and the winds had swung around to the NE. Before long storms began developing in a line, just inland, from the Sunshine Coast south to the Gold Coast. The storms west of my location, although not very photogenic, were quite lightning active, with dozens of thick strobing Cg's unleashing deep booms of thunder. I took the following photos.
Parts of Kallangur were blacked out by this storm - going by the rain foot in the second photo this could have been from trees falling over power lines as well as lightning strikes.
After a while these storms weakened, however the northern sky was looking very threatening, so i decided to head northwards on the Bruce highway. One thing to note about most storms on this day was the lack of base features - the storm i was about to intercept was quite severe, but was totally featureless. Anyway, i drove north towards the Glass House mountains, where it began raining heavily. Soon the rain would become torrential, and stay that way for well over an hour and a half! Driving was nearly impossible, and it took me a good 15 minutes to drive 10km's. I finally made it to the town of Beerwah, which was copping a hiding. A lot of streets were flooded, and the local creeks had just begun to burst their banks. I took the following photos.
The lightning at this stage had become quite spectacular. Almost every single bolt of lightning was within 1-2km, producing deep and extremely loud booms of thunder. An unofficial report of just under 400mm in 3 hours was recorded from this storm.
I wanted to keep taking photos but unfortunately by digital camera battery went flat, so i decided to head home and put it on charge in the hope of having enough power to take sunset/sunset Cb photos. It turned out i would see much much more than that....
After a quick stop off at home, i went back out and drove around the northern suburbs in moderate-heavy rain with distant lightning for few hours. By this time it was dark, the traffic was becoming heavier and heavier. I was about to head home when i noticed lightning was starting to increase to the NNW, so turned around and drove towards the Zilmere/Asply area. Before i knew it i was in the middle of yet another severe storm - the wind at the beginning was bordering on severe, but the most impressive (and severe) thing was the intensity of the rain - it was amazing. The lightning was also frequent, with many strikes within 1km. After about 20 minutes of this i though "geeze there are going to be some big totals from this" .....if only i knew
I decided to head towards the Aspley area where i knew of a few flood prone areas - boy was that a big mistake. After doing several U turns to avoid flooded streets, i ended up getting stuck in traffic just outside of the Hyperdome shopping center. This is where things started to get scary - the creek there rose so quickly! I walked into KFC to get a quick snack, and walked out 5 minutes later to see the water had risen several feet! The carpark under KFC (underground style) was quickly filling with water, and people were running around frantically trying to save their cars. I was standing on a set of stairs, watching the water rise and all of a sudden cars started floating! My head was spinning - and the rain was still pouring down! Only a matter of metres away was a major intersection which was cut by the local creek. The water was flowing with such force that several cars were plucked from a car yard and were carried down the creek creek. There were also 2 or 3 cars who tried to drive through the flooded intersection at the onset of the flooding, but their cars had stalled. These cars were now almost completely covered in water, and had been pushed up against side railings by the force of the water. The whole scene was just mind blowing.
There are no photos of the above flooding
as my camera battery was sitting at home on charge! Not that it would have
performed very well (if at all) in the dark anyway.
Written by Brisbane Storm Chaser Ben Quinn