'Like something out of a movie': Fernvale and Chinchilla lashed by storms

Max Futcher and Kim Skrubis

Another Queensland town is shellshocked after a violent storm caused havoc.

This time it was Chinchilla's turn with waves of hail smashing the town this afternoon.

The storm crashed into Chinchilla about 3.30 hail pummeling the town, locals cowered indoors as hail, ankle-deep in parts blanketed their yards.

Hail in Queensland. Photo: 7 News

Chris Sweetman, from Chinchilla White Gums Motor Inn, said: "Unbelievable never seen anything like it or heard anything like it in my whole life."

There were more than ninety calls for help, reports of damaged roofs and smashed windows and more are expected as households assess the damage.

Chris Sweetman added: "Water just running out of the light fittings and the ceiling is swelled like it's going to collapse.

Emergency crews have begun a night of repairs and mopping up.

More than three thousand homes lost power and another storm loomed over the town.


The Chinchilla storm follows the devastating storm which ripped apart homes and businesses at Fernvale, west of Brisbane.

The damage is still be assessed, already half a dozen homes have been deemed uninhabitable and hundreds of residents remain without power.

Locals have described their terror as the storm passed over them late yesterday.

It was a supercell, packing a cyclonic punch, the storm was fast moving with category three winds and torrential rain.

Roofs were ripped from homes and sheds and massive trees were torn from the ground.

Residents in its path have never seen anything like it.

Paul Fitzgerald said: "There was large hailstones the size of golf balls bouncing down and we really had five or six minutes of torrential hail there wasn't a lot we could do."

Sixty homes were damaged in the storm's fury, the occupants of six of those won't be allowed back.

Businesses also took a beating, the Fernvale Bakery lost $40, 000 dollars worth of stock.

Jay Lees told 7 News: "It was calm and then the heavens just opened up the wind is like something out of a movie."

Bill Rose said: "I know we have some customers who were locking themselves in toilets and things like that because they were terrified."

A storm so severe was a new experience for one of Fernvale's oldest residents.

Joanie Jones said: " I was sitting by the television having a cuppa and I heard this thunder and next thing I hear this wind and I think holy hell what's happening."

Joanie escaped with minor damage.

When the storm moved on SES and Energex crews moved in and began restoring power to hundreds of homes is a priority.

Jo-Anne Miller said: "We will be doing whatever it takes to help our community here in Fernvale get back on its feet."

It's too soon to predict how long the clean up will take.

Somerset Mayor Graeme Lehmann said: "We're going to run a kerbside pick up probably for the next few weeks that should help people out there as well.

Authorities are amazed no-one was seriously injured in the storm. The last thing locals needed was more rain today it began falling was around midday.

The storm season has only just begun.