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Unusual tornado ‘twisters’ followed by a huge rain event, turned a joyful Christmas Day into a Christmas night carnage and a New Year deluge.

The impact has been so dramatic that many areas will take years to recover.

Our Islands were impacted with tornado ‘twisters’ followed by days or torrential rain that bucketed a half a metre of water down.

The State Government reckons there will be a $4 billion damage bill, with the worst of it in the Gold Coast hinterland area, which The Friendly Bay Islander got to experience first hand.

So bad was it on the Gold Coast, the BOM estimates there were 3.5 million lightning strikes.

Compare that to the average annual lighting strikes of 38,000!

It was near daylight from continual lightning for nearly two hours at the height of the Christmas night catastrophe.

Communities came together to start the clearing up and two weeks after the disastrous super tornado, electricity was nowhere near being re-connected in many of those worst hit areas.

We got to speak with Danny Donald from Origin energy media.

He told us that the damage was so extensive that the entire electricity grid on and below Mt Tambourine will have to be totally rebuilt.

Some of the work will take months, with temporary diesel generators put in place to get power back on sooner rather than later whilst the grid is replaced.

The work by the many Energex crews has been described by many as ‘heroic’.

Many workers came off holidays to help.

Unless you have seen it, it is impossible to understand the extent of the damage and mayhem in those worst hit areas.

Literally thousands of trees ‘exploded’ or were uprooted.

The Friendly Bay Islander was in it, and has never seen such devastation.

The State Government has put no time on the massive cleanup but it will take months.

On our islands we got off more lightly but there was still a fair amount of damage.

A twister hit Russell Island dramatically with a fair amount of damage on the foreshore involving Jock Kennedy Park, the gravel car park near the ferry jetty, the Russell Island Recreation Centre and nearby businesses.

Again, trees literally ‘exploded’ and were uprooted and a roof was lifted off the art cottage adjacent to the park area, and dumped nearby.

The rain that followed was almost equally devastating.

The two events were massive. 

We have never seen anything like it.



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