Saturday, 23 October 2021

Tornado impacts Brisbane Airport

A tornado hit Brisbane Airport on Friday morning as a supercell storm event moved across the area, bringing intense rain and strong winds, the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has confirmed.  The BOM said the storm moved very slowly eastwards but cancelled the warning when the system passed into Moreton Bay. The BOM took about an hour to investigate, eventually confirming "a tornado occurred during a supercell thunderstorm near Brisbane Airport". The tornado touched down near the airport for about two minutes, ripping off roof panels and sending cargo pods tumbling across the tarmac. The wild weather caused water leaks at the domestic terminal, but most of the damage was around the international terminal. "Some roofing panels and awnings and flashings have come off the terminal and some of the surrounds," a Brisbane Airport Corporation spokesperson said. "On the walkway between the terminal and the air train, some of the roofing has popped out."

The Brisbane Airport Corporation said flight delays were expected and they were assessing damage, but there have been no reports of injuries. The BOM said 101 millimeters of rain was recorded at the airport in an hour on Friday morning.

Brisbane Airport spokesperson Rachel Bronish said the airport was working to assess and "rectify" any damage from the tornado. "We haven't had any reports of injuries which is fantastic news," she said. "But as you can imagine, there's been reports of water leaks and trees down and debris across the precinct."

She said the airport remained open throughout the tornado, but operations were "momentarily" suspended and flights were grounded. "Aircraft services were suspended for a short amount of time until the storm itself passed," she said.

"If anybody was due to fly out from Brisbane Airport yesterday afternoon, they were encourage to check in with their airline before heading to the airport … The Brisbane Airport website said five flights had been cancelled.

Just before 1:00pm, the BOM issued a fresh warning for a "very dangerous" thunderstorm warning impacting parts of the Gold Coast and Redland City.

At 4:20pm, the BOM warned of three "very dangerous" storm cells — at Gympie, Jimna and a third south of the Queensland border moving north toward the Scenic Rim.

By 6:00pm, the storms were no longer considered dangerous.
More showers and storms to come however.

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