A mother has been left covered in cuts and bruises after trying to protect her baby daughter when the pair were caught up in a dangerous supercell tornado.
The massive storm roared through southeast Queensland, dropping tennis ball-sized hail after hitting at 3pm on Thursday.
Residents of Tansey, a small town 250km north of Brisbane, woke up on Friday to destroyed homes and farms.
Southeast Queensland will continue to be smashed by wild weather over the next few days, hindering the clean up.
Fiona Simpson was driving with her grandmother and baby during the storm when chunks of ice smashed through their car windows and struck them.
The hail left bruises and cuts across Ms Simpson’s face and back, and hit her daughter on the head – despite the mother’s desperate attempts to shield the child with her body.
Ms Simpson posted photos of her shocking injuries to Facebook.
‘I’ve learnt my lesson, never drive in a hail storm,’ she said.
All three were hospitalised after they were injured while driving along the D’Aguilar Highway at Coolabunia, 88km south of Tansey.
Farmers’ entire crops for the season have been wiped out after the devastating storm.
Tansey resident Greg Hellmuth said the noise from the tornado, which was forecast by the Bureau of Meteorology, was ‘unbelievable’, forcing his family to take shelter under a bed.
‘We ran inside and everything was going sideways, all the trees were going sideways, this roof went up (in the air) and down. We went under the mattress and that’s where we stayed,’ he told Nine News.
The Bureau of Meteorology has predicted more storms for southeast Queensland on Friday, with up to 50mm of rain expected.
Downpours will continue to pelt the area from Friday until at least Monday accompanied by strong southeasterly winds.
Heavy storms will linger in the southeast, bringing thunder on Friday.
Some areas were left blanketed in large hail stones after Thursday’s storm making paddocks resemble snow fields.
Residents described the terrifying noise that came with the tornado when it hit Tansey about 3pm.
Sandra Jaschke told the ABC there is extensive damage at her property, with the winds destroying a large car port, her laundry and a pump house.
‘Next door to me is the old abattoir and that whole shed has imploded inwards and the whole end of it was taken out as well,’ she said.
‘It’s just debris everywhere where we are, we’ve got a lot of steel because we copped a lot of stuff from next door.’
Wheat, barley and stone fruit farmers have lost crops, with the damage bill expected to be significant.
Teresa Francis says she’s lost fruit crops, with damage to her Kumbia orchard put at $2 million.
‘It knocks you down. I’ve stopped crying but there’s worse things that can happen. We are still all ok,’ she told the broadcaster.
At Coolabunia, east of Kumbia, Queensland Dairy Farmers president Brian Tessmann is also counting the costs of the wild weather, which tore the roof off his home and most of the roof off his dairy.
South Burnett Mayor Keith Campbell says farmers who were about to hit harvest season have suffered very significant losses, with buildings in his area also damaged, and trees ‘shredded’.
‘The hail was simply intense when it fell. It was very very prolific. It simply shredded the ears of wheat and barley that was out there to be harvested,’ he said.
State Opposition Leader Deb Frecklinton will ask the government to help residents in her electorate of Nanango, saying farmers had suffered a massive setback.
There are reports that lightning has killed some cattle.
The storm is moving north towards Yengarie, leaving a path of destruction in its wake. Roads have been cut off by trees and roofs have been ripped from buildings.
A power outage in the Fraser Coast region left more than 10,000 homes without electricity.
The supersized hail – up to 7cm – was reported at Kumbia, Queensland about midday. About 4cm to 5cm of hail was reported in areas between Proton and Murgon with 3 to 5cm of hail reported near Gympie.
BOM senior forecaster Jonty Hall said the storms were fast-moving and tracking towards the coast.
‘They’ve been stronger than anything else around at the moment, and capable of producing damaging winds and very large hail,’ he said.
‘We’ve seen hail reported up to tennis ball size at this stage it’s possible some of these storms could even be capable of producing hail stones larger than that, so it’s certainly capable of causing damage and being quite dangerous.’
He said there had been several reports of trees being ripped out by the roots following the destructive weather.
Mr Hall said the cells were capable of producing damaging or even destructive winds.
Extraordinary footage showed extreme winds gushing through backyards and hail balls falling and bouncing as they land.
Residents are urged to stay indoors and call emergency crews if faced with danger.
Melbourne is expected to enjoy a few days of sunshine before rain is expected to batter the state.
Adelaide will continue experiencing warm temperatures and sunny days before a few rainy days arrive.
In Perth, showers are expected throughout the rest of the week, while Tasmania will also have a few days of rain.
The Northern Territory continues to bathe in warm temperatures, but should experience a few storms.
AUSTRALIA’S WEATHER: THE FIVE-DAY FORECAST IN YOUR CITY
FRIDAY: Min 14. Max 19. Showe or two.
SATURDAY: Min 14. Max 20. Showers increasing.
SUNDAY: Min 15. Max 21. Showers.
MONDAY: Min 16. Max 22. Shower or two.
TUESDAY: Min 17. Max 24. Possible shower.
FRIDAY: Min 4. Max 16. Partly cloudy.
SATURDAY: Min 4. Max 18. Possible shower.
SUNDAY: Min 7. Max 19. Shower or two.
MONDAY: Min 8. Max 23. Possible shower.
TUESDAY: Min 10. Max 22. Showers increasing.
FRIDAY: Min 15. Max 20. Showers increasing.
SATURDAY: Min 13. Max 21. Showers. Possible storm.
SUNDAY: Min 12. Max 20. Possible morning storm. Showers.
MONDAY: Min 11. Max 22. Partly cloudy.
TUESDAY: Min 11. Max 26. Sunny.
FRIDAY: Min 17. Max 22. Showers.
SATURDAY: Min 16. Max 20. Rain.
SUNDAY: Min 16. Max 21. Showers.
MONDAY: Min 17. Max 24. Showers.
TUESDAY: Min 19. Max 25. Shower or two.
Source: Bureau of Meteorology
FRIDAY: Min 8. Max 22. Sunny.
SATURDAY: Min 11. Max 23. Sunny.
SUNDAY: Min 14. Max 24. Partly cloudy.
MONDAY: Min 17. Max 26. Shower or two.
TUESDAY: Min 17. Max 24. Shower or two.
FRIDAY: Min 12. Max 25. Mostly sunny.
SATURDAY: Min 15. Max 28. Partly cloudy.
SUNDAY: Min 17. Max 30. Shower or two.
MONDAY: Min 16. Max 24. Shower or two.
TUESDAY: Min 13. Max 18. Shower or two.
FRIDAY: Min 8. Max 17. Possible light shower.
SATURDAY: Min 8. Max 21. Mostly sunny.
SUNDAY: Min 11. Max 21. Partly cloudy.
MONDAY: Min 13. Max 24. Partly cloudy.
TUESDAY: Min 15. Max 24. Shower or two.
FRIDAY: Min 24. Max 33. Partly cloudy.
SATURDAY: Min 25. Max 33. Possible shower or storm
SUNDAY: Min 25. Max 33. Possible shower or storm.
MONDAY: Min 25. Max 32. Shower or two. Possible storm.
TUESDAY: Min 24. Max 32. Shower or two. Possible storm.