UPDATE @ Monday December 24 | POWER has been restored to almost all homes on the Gold Coast following a mass blackout caused by two severe thunderstorms over the weekend.
The lights first went out on thousands of properties on Friday night and again on Saturday as giant hail, destructive winds and heavy rainfall lashed the city.
More than 20,000 properties initially had their power cut, however that’s now down to just 255 homes.
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Energex crews are continuing to work to restore services in time for Christmas.
EARLIER @ Sunday December 23 | THOUSANDS of Gold Coasters are facing an unexpected Christmas, after almost two days without power.
The lights went out on Friday night, as a severe thunderstorm swept through the city, leaving a path of destruction.
Trees were uprooted, smashing on to cars, houses, businesses and bringing down powerlines.
More than 20,000 properties had their power cut. More than 36-hours later, approximately 3,500 still can’t turn the lights on.
They have had to rely on generous loved ones for somewhere to sleep and even fridge space, as they try to preserve the all important Christmas ham.
The clean-up was made even more challenging, when another ferocious storm unleashed on the Gold Coast on Saturday night, bringing with it large hail stone to cause even more damage.
Go to the Energex website to keep updated on power outages and restoration.
EARLIER @ Saturday December 22 | The Gold Coast community is banding together to clean up following the severe storm that left a path of chaos in its wake on Friday night.
Around 13,000 properties remain without power across the Gold Coast and Hinterland, forcing businesses to close their doors and residents to rely on the generousity of friends to charge their batteries or enjoy a cup of tea or hot meal.
The wild winds brought down large gum trees, causing major damage across many suburbs and keeping the SES on their toes.
The emergency crews received dozens of calls as the storm left a trail of destruction, bringing down powerlines and smashing roofs.
It’s come at a difficult time of year, with some home owners told it could be weeks before suitable repairs are carried out, due to the Christmas break.
Tracy from Mudgeeraba told myGC that she was expecting tree loppers to clean up the trees that fell on her house over the weekend, but would need to wait until the new year for any building works to happen.
“(They have to) tarp it all up until they can repair it all in the new year when everyone is back at work,” Tracy said.
“S***ty timing but it’s only a house it can be fixed,” she added, while confirming that she was still waiting for the power to be restored at her house.
Energy companies have crews working overtime to restore power, but it’s believed some people could be waiting most of the day.
You can go to the Energex website for regular updates.
EARLIER @ Friday December 21 6.55pm by Matt McDonald | Severe storms have swept across the Gold Coast leaving a trail of destruction and more than 20,000 homes and businesses without power.
The Weather Bureau has advised that the storms have now eased but damaging winds are still possible.
A large band of thunderstorms began hitting the Coast around 5.30pm, quickly making their way east.
Wind gusts of 80 km/h were recorded at the Gold Coast Seaway at the height of the storm.
There have been widespread reports of trees and power lines down across numerous suburbs, while outdoor furniture was seen hurtling off balconies in Surfers Paradise.
The storm also caused chaos at the Surfers Paradise Markets with stalls sent flying.
Shoppers at Robina Town Centre report the power went out as thousands of people crammed in last minute Christmas shopping.
Lifesavers at beaches up and down the Coast scrambled to clear beaches as the storm hit, sending hundreds of people running for cover.
20,439 homes and businesses remain without power on the Gold Coast while another 13,000 are blacked out in Logan.
The worst affected suburbs include Mudgeeraba, Upper Coomera, Tallai, Reedy Creek, Oxenford, Merrimac, Mermaid Beach, Bonogin, Nerang and Gilston.
Energex can’t give an estimate of when power will be restored with crews having to wait until the storms pass before they can assess the damage.
The Weather Bureau is warning of more unstable weather conditions on Saturday with severe storms possible again on the Gold Coast.
Conditions should ease on Sunday before some fine conditions on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
EARLIER @ 6.00PM: 20,397 homes and businesses across the Gold Coast are without power after severe storms swept across the city.
Lightning, heavy rain and strong winds have hit most of the Coast after a day of hot and humid conditions.
The power outages are widespread but some of the worst affected suburbs include Mudgeeraba, Reedy Creek, Oxenford, Merrimac, Tallai, Upper Coomera, Mermaid Beach, and Bonogin.
Robina Town Centre was also reportedly affected as thousands of people crammed in last minute Christmas shopping.
Another 13,000 homes and businesses have been blacked out in Logan.
More to come
EARLIER @ 5.45pm: A severe storm is barreling towards the Gold Coast bring heavy rain, hail and strong winds.
The Bureau of Meteorology warns that, at 5:15 pm, very dangerous thunderstorms were detected on the weather radar near Boonah. These thunderstorms are moving towards the east. Very dangerous thunderstorms are forecast to affect Ipswich and Beaudesert by 5:45 pm and Coolangatta, Beenleigh and Logan City by 6:15 pm. Destructive winds and large hailstones are possible with this storm.
Wind gusts of up to 95 km/h have been recorded as the storm moved in from the west.
There are reports of a black out at Robina Town Centre while scaffolding has also reportedly come down in Surfers Paradise
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services advises that people should:
* Move your car under cover or away from trees.
* Secure loose outdoor items.
* Seek shelter, preferably indoors and never under trees.
* Avoid using the telephone during a thunderstorm.
* Beware of fallen trees and powerlines.
* For emergency assistance contact the SES on 132 500.
The next warning is due to be issued by 6:20 pm.