Emergency crews, council and SES cleaning up Fernvale
THE community of Fernvale was counting the cost of damage from the supercell storm that hit the township late Tuesday afternoon.
The clean-up was swift with emergency services and council crews swinging into action immediately after the fierce 15minute-long storm swept through about 4.30pm and neighbours pitching in to assist.
An incident command centre was established at the Fernvale Futures Complex on the Brisbane Valley Highway with Somerset Regional Council, Queensland Fire and Rescue, SES and Energex joining forces to manage the clean-up.
The Local Disaster Management Group remained on alert yesterday with the main agencies at Fernvale Futures in stand-up mode.
A Rapid Damage Assessment team reported that six homes were declared uninhabitable and more were being assessed.
Seven homes received moderate damage and 53 homes received minor damage.
Energex restored power to the Fernvale CBD and nearby Honeywood Estate. Crews were working to restore power to about 550 properties through the day.
Dozens of SES crews were tasked across the Fernvale area to assist with clean up.
Somerset Regional Council Mayor Graeme Lehmann was at the emergency command centre in Fernvale yesterday and took a helicopter flight over the area with emergency services to assess the overall damage.
Cr Lehmann said the supercell storm caused substantial damage to residential and business from Fairney View to Fernvale township but major infrastructure escaped significant damage.
"Last nights supercell has certainly caused a lot of destruction but we are very fortunate that no lives were lost or residents seriously injured," Cr Lehmann said.
"It was only a narrow strip but it certainly did some damage.
"When you look at some of the houses the damage bill is going to be substantial.
"At this stage it's difficult to gauge how long the clean-up effort will take but we will continue to work together with all agencies to ensure a swift clean-up and recovery effort.
"One place I saw a tree had fallen on top of a car and squashed it.
"The worst damage I've seen was roofs taken off houses, not just the iron, the timber batons and everything.
"I haven't seen anything like this for years and years. One of the things that made this one worse was the hail in it."
Cr Lehmann said neighbouring councils and emergency services had offered to assist in the clean-up and praised volunteers and the Fernvale community for helping their neighbours in need.
SES volunteers and local firefighters received more than 60 requests for assistance following the storm. Most of the jobs were for damage to homes and roofs as well as fallen trees. Emergency crews also responded to several crashes in the area on Tuesday night with the amount of debris on the roads.
Residents affected by the storm can place green waste and large storm damaged items on the kerbside for collection or dispose near the toilet blocks near Twin Bridges for central collection.