STORM DAMAGE: Streets open but homes remain off limits after


  • A severe weather event, being described as a "mini tornado" struck a Mooloolaba street on Sunday night.
  • Roofs were blown off homes, buildings and cars were damaged and power poles were downed.
  • Up to 30 people have been left homeless.
  • Police declared an emergency situation in the street.
  • The emergency declaration has been revoked.

LATEST: THE exclusion zone around Akeringa Pl, Corowa Ct and Amarina Ave has been lifted with Police revoking the declaration made under the Public Safety Preservation Act.

A number of buildings are still cordoned off. 

An emergency situation was declared on Monday after a storm ripped roofs off homes, damaged buildings and vehicles and felled power lines.

Police thanked members of the public for their patience while the area was being made safe.


UPDATE: People hoping to catch a glimpse of incredible storm destruction in Mooloolaba have been asked to stay away while the clean up is ongoing.

Mooloolaba residents' homes destroyed and damaged in a severe storm about 6pm Sunday.

The calm of their quiet Akeringa Pl cul-de-sac was obliterated in seconds as intense winds destroyed all in their wake.

At least 30 people had their homes rendered unliveable after unit blocks had their roofs torn off and thrown into buildings up to 100m away.

RELATED: Severe storm wreaks havoc across canal

Trees and power poles crushed cars and debris filled the street.

There were some minor injuries but incredibly, no one was seriously hurt.

Resident Cathy Davis and her 10-year-old son Zane were in their ground-floor unit when they heard an almighty crash.

Guttering from a unit block across the road speared into Miss Davis' front porch area and a large section of roof smashed into the roof of her building.

"It was just mayhem," Miss Davis said.

"Just the carnage everywhere was unbelievable."

She wasn't sure what had caused the crash but likened it to a bomb going off.

"Speaking to the police, they said it was a mini tornado.

"On the Sunshine Coast? That's crazy."

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster David Bernard said he was not exactly sure what had happened but the most likely cause of the damage was a "high-end severe storm".

"Obviously, it was a severe thunderstorm," Mr Bernard said.

"We have no evidence that it was a tornado."

He said the bureau's wind-monitoring equipment was not in the area of the storm so there was no official wind speed data.

However, some residents were confident it topped 100kmh.

Mr Bernard said residents could expect mild weather for the clean-up in the coming days.

"It will be a lot colder at night."

Akeringa Pl was closed to all but a few residents as heavy machinery was called in to remove large chunks of debris.

Police set up an exclusion zone about 9.15am.

Asbestos contractors donned protective suits while they determined to what extent the deadly fibre had spread.

Sunshine Coast Council emergency operations coordinator Cathy Buck said the main aim was to make the area safe.

She asked that only those who needed to be in the area attend. "We have had people coming through just trying to get a look and things like that," Miss Buck said.

"If we can say please stay away from the area, that's very helpful."

State government community recovery workers were at the scene yesterday to assist those in need of a place to stay.

For more information on help available call the emergency assistance line on 1800 173 349.

EARLIER: CLEAN up has begun in Akeringa Place after a severe storm tore the roofs off houses.

Debris is being removed by the truckload and what's left of the houses is being tidied up in what will be a mammoth effort to restore the houses.

Residents are being allowed in to grab belongings, while those in undamaged apartments on the street are being told to stay indoors.


EARLIER: THE safety of homes in Akeringa Pl is being assessed in the wake of a severe storm that ripped through the street overnight. 

Six unit blocks were damaged by what has been described as a "mini tornado".

Up to 30 have been displaced from their homes. 



UPDATE: POLICE have declared an emergency situation under the Public Safety Preservation Act in Moolooaba.

The declaration was made following a severe weather event that ripped the roofs from several buildings, and damaged cars and power lines, causing damage to homes.

An exclusion zone has been established which encompasses the intersection of Akeringa Pl and Corowa Ct, Amarina Avenue, Mooloolaba.

Police have asked people avoid the area so crews can assess the damage. 

The exclusion zone at Mooloolaba.
The exclusion zone at Mooloolaba. Contributed


UPDATE: MOOLOOLABA residents Carl and Tracey Hunt's shock at seeing their roof fly away quickly turned to fear when they realised they could not find their son and daughter.

The Akeringa Pl residents had been watching Thomas the Tank Engine on television with three-year-old son Archie and two-year-old daughter Evie when heavy gusts blew the outdoor security gate off their second-floor unit.

It intensified and the roof lifted.

"By the time we got to the door, the roof was gone," Mr Hunt said.

Their roof ended up about 80 to 100m away on the roof of units on the other side of the cul-de-sac.

They realised they could not see their children.

Mrs Hunt said she could hear Archie but she could not hear Evie for about 10 seconds.

They were buried under gyp rock ceiling which had collapsed near the couch.

"It was a bit scary there for about 15 to 20 seconds," Mr Hunt said.

"It was all dark."

Akeringa Pl residents Carl and Tracey Hunt comfort their children Archie and Evie after the roof of their second-storey unit was blown away in a storm.
Akeringa Pl residents Carl and Tracey Hunt comfort their children Archie and Evie after the roof of their second-storey unit was blown away in a storm. Warren Lynam

They dug their kids out and cowered under the only remaining bit of ceiling they had in the hallway.

That part has since collapsed.

They went to their downstairs neighbour's home for a few hours.

"It was like a jet plane," Mrs Hunt said.

They stayed at a friend's place at Buderim and returned this morning to salvage their possessions.

"It's all wet," Mr Hunt said.

The carnage was limited to his building, with the units next door also losing the roof.

The roof of Pawan Kumar's second-storey unit was blown away in the storm which struck Akeringa Pl, Mooloolaba.
The roof of Pawan Kumar's second-storey unit was blown away in the storm which struck Akeringa Pl, Mooloolaba. Stuart Cumming

Resident Pawan Kumar and his wife Memta Memta had Mr Kumar's parents from India staying with them.

Mr Kumar, who has lived on the Sunshine Coast for four years, said the whole terrifying incident was over in 30 seconds.

They ran from room to room as the roof of their second-storey peeled back.

Mr Kumar said they realised the devastation was too great and linked hands to run downstairs.

His wife was injured when her arm became caught in a sliding door. They somehow managed to get out.

"If we would stayed another 10 seconds up stairs we would have lost someone," Mr Kumar said.

Downstairs neighbour Graham Croft initially struggled to open his door to let them in because the wind was howling through his unit.

He helped the family until the weather settled and they were able to find accommodation with friends.

Mr Kumar said he was not sure what he was going to do next.

He and his family were this morning salvaging what they could.

Homes lost their roofs in a powerful storm that hit Akeringa Pl in Mooloolaba.
Homes lost their roofs in a powerful storm that hit Akeringa Pl in Mooloolaba. Stuart Cumming

UPDATE: Queensland Fire and Emergency Service has set up a forward command centre in Mooloolaba after a "mini tornado" ripped through homes at Akeringa Pl last night.

Sunshine Coast Council Local Disaster head Andrew Ryan said up to 30 people would be out of their houses for some time with roofs ripped from homes and extensive damage caused.

Mr Ryan said a similar system threatened Mooloolaba two years ago but fortunately the caravan park had been empty when it swung through it.


UPDATE: DAYLIGHT is revealing the full extent of the damage a Mooloolaba street sustained in Sunday night's storm. 

Roofs have been blown off, cars crushed, and powerlines downed after a severe storm ripped through Akeringa Pl. 

Mooloolaba resident Cathy Davis' roof was damaged in the storm and her yard was strewn with debris from across the street. 

"It was like a bomb going off," she said. 

"Just the carnage everywhere, it was unbelievable.

"Speaking to the police they said it was a mini tornado. On the Sunshine Coast? That's just crazy."

Ms Davis said she had not realised how bad the situation was at first. 

"We had the rain and it just got stronger and the wind got stronger and I actually put the buckets down because we had water coming straight down through here..." she said. 

"Lights were flickering, went inside to tell my son to get his torch and we just heard this almighty bang and the power went out."

She went outside to find the roof ripped apart. 



EARLIER: A MOOLOOLABA street has been trashed by Sunday night's storm with reports of unroofed homes, damaged cars and broken glass in the street.

It follows winds of more than 100kmh buffeted the seaside suburb on Sunday evening.

Julius Toole describes how "the whole roof" of his unit was ripped off during the storm.

"The whole roof got ripped off. I came out and we were just looking out to the sky and to the water," he said.

"The glass had all smashed through.

"Our roof was around our chest kind of thing."

He said his "partner was screaming" but they still managed to find their dog among the rubble.

"It was the scariest probably two minutes of our lives," he said.


"We kind of hugged and were quiet for a little bit and the three of us were OK and then got out of there."

Posting on Sunny Coast Community Board, Tamika Cahill said "we have roofs off houses power poles down smashed cars and stuff everywhere".

Mooloolaba and Akeringa Place in particular appears to have been hardest hit by the storm, with powerful winds there accompanying the intense downpour.

More than 3200 properties were without power in two separate outages, Energex reported.

As of 6am on Monday, Energex was reporting 76 properties remained without power, after a tree fell on to a powerline at Peachester during the storm.



UPDATE 7.15pm: THERE are unconfirmed of roofs being blown from buildings in Akeringa Place at Mooloolaba.

A resident in the community reported intense gusts earlier, saying they felt strong enough to have been from a waterspout.

Since then there has been reports of significant damage centered around Akeringa Place.

Police are on the scene and there are suggestions that, apart from roof damage, a power pole may have been knocked over.

It has been suggested the roofs of two buildings were blown off during the event, but that information is not confirmed. 



UPDATE 7PM: MORE than 4600 properties are without power after an intense downpour lashed the Sunshine Coast.

Energex is reporting 4670 properties without power on the Sunshine Coast with Mooloolaba copping the brunt of the outage.

The energy authority says more than 3200 properties in Mooloolaba are currently without power. It is unable to say precisely what is causing the outage and is investigating.

Police say Akeringa Place has been particularly hard hit.

Other outages have been caused by downed powerlines and fallen trees.

Other outages have been reported at Alex Headland (272); Beerwah (13); Buderim (530); Eerwah Vale (39) Eudlo (3); Eumundi (359); Mapleton (12); Maroochydore (13); Minyama (4); Mountain Creek (54); Noosa (1); and Peachester (104).


INITIAL REPORT: EMERGENCY service vehicles trying to reach a crash at Maleny are having to find ways around flash flooding from the intense rain currently hitting the Sunshine Coast.

There have been reports of crashes at Maleny and in the northbound lane Bruce of the Bruce Highway around Beerburrum.

It is understood there have been no injuries in the Maleny crash. No details are available for the Bruce Highway incident.

There are also reports of a tree down on the Eumundi-Noosa Road, about half-a-kilometre from the Beckmans Road turnoff (near Bunnings).

Topics:  editors picks flooding sunshine coast weather

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