Safety and recovery the focus after severe SEQ storms

As the clean-up following yesterday’s severe storm activity across South-East Queensland continues, families, businesses and farmers are beginning to count the cost of the damage.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said her thoughts were with the families who were caught up in the storm.

“This was a severe storm and we’re starting to get a full picture damage it has caused,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“We have seen the pictures of a mother who was injured protecting her child and we know there was also damage to crops.

“But thankfully, there was no loss of life.”

Ms Palaszczuk said a massive clean-up was already underway.

“SES crews have been working hard overnight and crews from Brisbane are on their way to the region,” she said.

“There are still some power outages and I know Ergon has sent extra crews to the region.

“Safety remains our number one priority – be careful cleaning up and stay away from fallen powerlines.

“Local authorities will meet today and provide an update about any further assistance that may be required.”

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said the pictures of ruined crops were shocking.

“The ferocity with which the hail and wind hit during the storm was incredibly intense,” he said.

“I encourage any producers who have suffered significant damage to apply for an Individual Disaster Stricken Property (IDSP) declaration.

“Freight subsidies can be applied for under an IDSP declaration.

“I look forward to visiting affected landholders tomorrow to see if there’s anything the state government can do to assist further.”

Fire and Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford said it was likely the number of SES tasks would increase during the day.

“Overnight to 5.30am, there were more than 300 calls for assistance with 289 of these in the North Coast Region,” Mr Crawford said. “There were 170 callouts in Gympie, and 53 in the South Burnett.

“The damage was mostly structural, including hail damage to skylights and windows, trees down and leaking roofs.”

Mr Crawford said 49 SES volunteers were deploying for up to three days from the Brisbane region to Gympie to assist with tasks, including chainsaw and tarp requests.

“Thankfully, the forecast is that severe storms are less likely today in the areas such as the South Burnett, however, the potential for heavy rainfall may affect the clean-up in some areas,” he said.

“Local authorities are meeting this morning and will provide an update about any further assistance that may be required.”

If you need help from the SES call 132 500, or call 000 in an emergency.

To arrange an inspection by a Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) officer, call 132 523.

DAF can also assist producers to complete the application for an Individual Disaster Stricken Property declaration.

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