By Helen Regan
November 28, 2014

Thousands of residents of Queensland, Australia, have been left without power after the worst storm in decades battered the state capital Brisbane on Thursday.

Golf-ball sized hailstones and winds of up to 90 mph tore roofs from buildings and brought down 642 power lines, reports the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

“We had to run to get out of there, the speed of the hailstones were like bullets,” resident John Arthur told the ABC. “The place looked like a warzone.”

A huge cleanup operation is now underway with state-owned electricity supplier Energex working to restore power to 90,000 homes and emergency service crews clearing up debris left in the storm’s wake.

“[Saturday] will be a big day … lots of volunteers from SES and Rural Fire Service will be out … I estimate by end of tomorrow a large part of the recovery side will be done,” said Neil Gallant, acting deputy commissioner of Queensland Fire and Emergency Services.

Twelve people were injured during Thursday’s supercell storm but thankfully there were no fatalities.

“I’m astounded but so grateful that that is all that we’ve got given the amount of shrapnel flying around last night,” said Campbell Newman, the Premier of Queensland.

The state’s transport minister estimated the damage would cost more than $85 million to repair.

[ABC]

Write to Helen Regan at helen.regan@timeasia.com.

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