News

'Super cell' almost claimed life

Colina Hunt recalls how her car was swept off the Harpers Creek Bridge at Conondale. Photo:Warren Lynam / Sunshine Coast Daily
Colina Hunt recalls how her car was swept off the Harpers Creek Bridge at Conondale. Photo:Warren Lynam / Sunshine Coast Daily Warren Lynam

COLINA Hunt drove into a perfect storm that almost claimed her life on Sunday evening.

In the hour before the 32-year-old made the final turn to home after a day out with her sister, a "super cell" weather system had been hovering over the Blackall Ranges.

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Peter Otto said 70mm of rain was recorded at the Harpers Creek rain gauge between 6-7pm.

When Ms Hunt turned into Harpers Creek Rd, Conondale, she was hit by a flash flood she could not have predicted.

The nature of the weather system meant its impact was variable.

At Maleny, only 17mm fell for the 24 hours to 9am yesterday, but at Obi Lookout there had been 87mm recorded and at Mapleton, 105mm.

The 24-hour figure of 142mm for the Nambour DPI gauge appeared so anomalous that council officers checked its accuracy with the bureau.

The number was right. Tellingly, 108mm of the amount fell in only an hour between 8-9pm on Sunday. Across town, another gauge recorded only 71mm for the 24 hours to yesterday morning.

Kenilworth Garage proprietor Mark Gilroy said the rise in Obi Obi Creek and the Mary River was the swiftest he had witnessed in 54 years in the district.

It normally takes 12 hours for heavy rain at Maleny to cause the upper Mary to rise.

"We must have had a lot of rain locally somewhere," Mr Gilroy said.

Mr Otto said Super Cells formed in specific clusters and were effectively storms with rotation within them that pulled in new air, allowing them to gain strength.

They form where an upper level trough creates instability. The intensity of Sunday night's cloudburst was further encouraged by high humidity.

The systems are quite organised in their structure and slow moving. Some will drop hail or cause extreme wind conditions.

Unfortunately for Colina Hunt as she made her way home, ahead of her water was falling in a torrent into the creek that gives her home address its name off Aherns Rd, Conondale.

A similar, less intense, system hovered over the Gold Coast yesterday afternoon.

Storms carrying moderate to heavy rain also moved in over Kenilworth and Conondale as Ms Hunt recovered from her close shave with nature's whim.

Topics:  storm alert weather


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

REVEALED: Ipswich to host Broncos in pre-season clash

IPSWICH BOUND: Broncos star Anthony Milford in action. The Broncos are set to play the Ipswich Jets at North Ipswich Reserve on February 11 next year.

Bennett's boys set to light up North Ipswich Reserve on February 11

Coward punch killer pleads guilty in Lindsay Ede case

Lindsay Ede

Ariik Mayot could face life in jail for attack on Ipswich granddad

How one man proved an Ipswich magistrate wrong

A Coast pensioner has been refused bail after being charged with drug trafficking.

Man successfully appealed traffic conviction

Local Partners

Heatwave to continue for days as temps top 40 in some areas

IF you want to experience the pure heat of the start of Queensland's scorching weather, you can't go past Birdsville.

Man builds playground entirely out of packing tape

Artist Eric Lennartson is in the process of completing his huge tape sculpture at the Ipswich Art Gallery.

VIDEO:And here's where you can play on it.

Countdown to Woodford Folk Festival begins

ECONOMIC BOON: Woodford Folk Festival is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.  Photo Contributed

The first larger-than-life inhabitants have stepped into Woodfordia

'I need to do what I can': 65km walk for cancer patient

Karlee Robinson is walking from Caloundra to Noosa for her cousin Aaron Parker, who has terminal brain cancer.

What do you do when someone you love has terminal brain cancer?

Ricky Gervais announces first dates of world tour

Ricky Gervais has announced his first world tour in seven years.

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard in 'final stages' of divorce

Depp's outstanding divorce money to be paid over 15 months

Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher welcome their second child

Mila Kunis won't be naming her second child 'Hawkeye'

First look at Russell Crowe and Tom Cruise in The Mummy

Russell Crowe in a scene from the first teaser trailer for the movie The Mummy.

HOLLYWOOD heavyweights helm serious reboot of action franchise.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt: Fame is 'unhealthy'

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Joseph Gordon-Levitt feels bad perpetuating celebrity culture

Man who played Manuel in Fawlty Towers has died, aged 86

Manuel from the comedy hit Fawlty Tours, has died aged 86

Coast high-flyer's fight back from bankruptcy, $72m debt

Scott Juniper went from millionaire developer to declaring bankruptcy in2012, now he is back on top of his game again with new developments including this one in Coolum.

'Apocalyptic lending storm' causes financial collapse.

How your home can earn you big $$$$ this Christmas

This luxury Twin Waters home rents out over Christmas for more than $6000 a week.

Home owners earning thousands renting out their homes this Christmas

2000 jobs at multi-million dollar Ipswich project

INSIDE: Artist's impressions of the interior of the new Eastern Heights aged care precinct.

Sub-contractors needed to build $15m aged care facility

Iconic beach shack rises from the ashes

Inspired by the Dailys stories on the need for beach shacks, popular Coolum restaurant MyPlace has transformed its inside into a beach shack.

And the iconic 'guitar house' saved for now

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!