Australia Wild storm sees a Kmart roof collapse forcing shoppers to be evacuated
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Shoppers had to be evacuated when the roof of a Kmart store started to cave in as golf-ball sized hailstones and over 100,000 lightning strikes smashed parts of southeastovernight.
Footage uploaded to social media by one panicked shopper shows large sections of the ceiling collapsing at opposite ends of the Maroochydore store at Sunshine Plaza, with huge amounts of water gushing to the floor over exposed electrical wires.
Frightened customers are seen making their way out the discount chain at about 5:30pm on Wednesday, with one woman making a narrow escape.
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'It was terrifying honestly,' a shopper named Kelsey told.
'At first we thought "oh well just a bit of water" but after the ceiling collapsed, it could have fallen right on top of us if we were only another metre to the left.
'It was definitely an unexpected shock to the system!'
At about the same time, another harrowing ordeal was playing out on the Sunshine Coast with a family trapped in their car for almost two hours after a tree was uprooted.
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Queensland Fire and Emergency Services were called to in Arundell Ave in Nambour at about 6pm where they found a tree and powerlines strewn over the vehicle.
Fire crews with the help of specialists from power provider Energex were able to secure the scene and remove the occupants without any injuries.
The southeast region of Queensland was battered last night by a low-pressure system bringing damaging winds, large hailstones, heavy rain and flash flooding in some parts.
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Video: Weather Bureau warns of 'unusual' storms set to slam east coast (9News.com.au)
The Bureau of Meteorology sent out emergency text to residents living in the Moreton Bay region, north of Brisbane, warning those nearby to take shelter.
'BoM Emergency Announcement - the storms impacting the region are VERY DANGEROUS. Do NOT drive. TAKE SHELTER immediately,' the warning said.
Some of the worst-hit areas included Esk, Toogoolawah, Mt Mee and Biarra, where giant hailstones was reported.
Heavy winds and over 100,000 lightning knocked down power lines in some areas leaving about 11,000 homes without power.
Energex is currently working to restore the power grid, along with State Emergency Serves.
The Queensland SES received more than 180 requests for assistance during the severe storms.
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Leaky roofs and fallen trees in the Greater Brisbane and Sunshine Coast areas made up the bulk of the callouts.
BoM forecaster Jake Phillips said the weather event was uncommon for this time in Autumn.
'It's due to the combination of having a relatively significant amount of humidity around for this time of year, and also a very powerful upper level system moving through,' he said.
While the dangerous weather conditions have subsided, a cold snap is now expected to roll in across Australia's east coast, bringing cool, dry conditions to NSW and Queensland this weekend.
WEATHER FORECAST IN YOUR CITY
Thursday: Mostly sunny. Max23
Friday: Sunny. Min12 - Max 20
Saturday: Becoming windy. Mostly sunny. Min 10 - Max 18
Sunday: Sunny. Min 8 - Max 18
Thursday: Afternoon showers. Max 18
Friday: Showers increasing. Min 8 - Max 14
Saturday: Showers easing. Min 8 - Max 13
Sunday: Shower or two. Min 7 - Max 16
Thursday: Cloud clearing. Max 26
Friday: Sunny. Min 13 - Max 24
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Saturday: Sunny. Min 12- Max 24
Sunday: Mostly sunny. Min 11 - Max 21
Thursday: Sunny. Max 34
Friday: Sunny. Min 21 - Max 33
Saturday: Sunny. Min 21 - Max 33
Sunday: Sunny. Min 21 - Max 33
Thursday: Afternoon showers. Max 17
Friday: Shower or two. Min 5 - Max 12
Saturday: Shower or two. Min 4 - Max 11
Sunday: Shower or two. Min 5 - Max 14
Thursday: Partly cloudy. Max 21
Friday: Partly cloudy. Min 12 - Max 24
Saturday: Cloudy. Min 15 - Max 24
Sunday: Cloudy. Min 15 - Max 24
Thursday: Showers, mostly morning. Max 17
Friday: Possible shower. Min 10 - Max 17
Saturday: Partly cloudy. Min 10 - Max 17
Sunday: Shower or two . Min 8 - Max 17
Thursday: Morning fog. Mostly sunny day. Max 18
Friday: Partly cloudy. Min 4 - Max 13
Saturday: Partly cloudy. Min 2 - Max 11
Sunday: Morning frost. Mostly sunny. Min -4 - Max 12
Source: Bureau of Meteorology Australia
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