Tornado rips roof off home as storms take their toll
FIERCE storms with winds of more than 100km/h have damaged homes in NSW and Queensland as well as leaving thousands without power.
At least one home was destroyed by a tornado in north-eastern New South Wales, while damaging winds and rain kept the State Emergency Service busy, with 179 calls for assistance.
The ABC reports that Alexander Martin was on his porch in Guyra, near Armidale, when a tornado hit about 4pm.
He says the storm ripped trees from the ground and that his 70-year-old neighbour was lucky to escape unhurt.
"All of a sudden [there was] this roaring, like an express train going through, and we went out on to our patio and looked and we could see debris flying about in the air.
"Our neighbour lives about 800 yards away from us, and it took her house and sheds out.''
In Queensland, about 18,000 homes were left without power overnight after a severe storm cell swept through the south-east, hitting the Sunshine Coast, Ipswich, the Gold Coast, Logan on Saturday night and into the early hours of Sunday morning.
During the height of the storm, more than 8,000 customers are affected in the Scenic Rim council region and around 4,000 in the Lockyer Valley and about 7,000 at Ipswich, Logan and the Gold Coast.
Early reports suggested one house was completely demolished and up to 30 other homes were reportedly damaged in the Rosewood and Pine Mountain area near Ipswich, although this could not be confirmed by emergency services, News Corp reported.
The heaviest rainfalls were recorded at Junction View, south of Gatton, with up to 62mm in just over an hour.
Wind gusts of up to 92km/h were recorded at Amberley during the height of the storm.
There were also reports of golfball size hail at Warwick and Ipswich.
The Bureau of Meteorology says we can expect further storms on Sunday with humid conditions and temperatures into the 30s throughout much of south-east Queensland and northern NSW.