Family trapped in car amid wild storm

A ‘very dangerous’ storm left a terrified Queensland family trapped in their car, with fallen live powerlines surrounding the vehicle.

A Sunshine Coast family were trapped in their car for hours on Wednesday night after a horror storm toppled a tree, bringing down live powerlines around their vehicle.

The family, including two children, were travelling in Nambour when the tree fell just before 6pm.

An Energex spokesman said the family had “done the right thing” and stayed in the car, contacting triple-0 and Energex.

Crews rushed to the scene to shut off the power, and the family escaped uninjured.

“If a powerline does come across your car, you should stay in your vehicle at all times,” the spokesman said.

It’s been a busy week for Energex, who have recorded 533,000 lightning strikes in southeast Queensland since Monday morning.

The lightning activity was at its peak on Wednesday amid a wild storm, with up to 400 strikes being recorded each minute.

The storms also brought heavy hail, causing the roof of a Queensland Kmart to collapse, forcing shoppers to be evacuated.

Southeast Queensland was plunged into darkness and hit hard by a thunderstorm on Wednesday afternoon that brought 30 minute rainfall totals of 50mm in some areas including Caboolture.

Giant hail was reported in Esk, Toogoolawah, Mt Mee and Biarra, while more than 100,000 lightning strikes were recorded into the night.

Shoppers at Kmart Maroochydore at Sunshine Plaza were quick to record the collapse of the store’s roof amid the storm just before 6pm.

One woman recorded two sections of the store’s roof falling in, resulting in wires being exposed and water gushing into the shop.

No injuries were reported and it’s understood the store was safely evacuated.

Energex confirmed at the height of the storm, more than 11,000 customers were without power.

Commuters faced peak-hour chaos after the storm brought down powerlines, causing TransLink to suspend trains across the network. The Beenleigh line has only resumed service on Thursday morning.

Flash flooding was reported across Brisbane, and a number of vehicles were caught in flood waters in Moorooka on Brisbane’s south.

Residents in Moreton Bay Council were sent a text message by the Bureau of Meteorology advising them not to drive and to immediately take shelter.

Sky News chief meteorologist Tom Saunders told NCA NewsWire on Wednesday that southeast Queensland and eastern NSW were experiencing a “late season storm outbreak”.

It comes ahead of an expected cold snap to hit parts of the region this weekend, with below average temperatures expected from Thursday into next week.

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