On the afternoon of 27 November 2014, a supercell storm hit Brisbane with wind gusts of up to 144 km per hour, approximately 6000 lightning strikes and hail the size of tennis balls. The Bureau of Meteorology described it as one of the worst storms to hit Brisbane in a decade and one of the highest supercell thunderstorms to occur in Australia.
The hail caused damage to at least 22,000 homes and more than 50,000 cars. The storm resulted in more than 614 fallen power lines and at one stage, 108,000 homes and businesses were without electricity.
Archerfield Airport was the worst hit by the storm, the cyclonic winds flipping seven small planes and damaging several helicopters.
Two hundred soldiers from the Army’s Emergency Support Service were called in to remove fallen trees and storm debris, while approximately 350 SES volunteers and 100 firefighters tied tarpaulins onto roofs and cleared corrugated iron, roof tiles and broken glass from Brisbane’s streets.
The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) declared a Catastrophe for the hailstorm-affected areas of Brisbane and south-east Queensland. Initial figures from the ICA estimate the preliminary damage at $1040 million