Widespread power outages plunged the Sunshine Coast into darkness last night, with tens of thousands still without power today.
Widespread power outages plunged the Sunshine Coast into darkness last night, with tens of thousands still without power today.

Residents' makeshift roadblock around fallen powerlines

UPDATE 3PM: BUDERIM resident Mike Perritt had just finished restoring power to his toaster today, having fired up a generator to keep his Toulambi Dr household running following ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie.

He is one of more than 25,000 Sunshine Coast residents still without power today, as Energex warns some could be left in blackout for days.

A massive gum tree had fallen on power lines on Vise Rd on Thursday during the powerful storms that swept across the region, cutting power to his and surrounding homes.

He said residents had taken it upon themselves to form a makeshift roadblock, as cars continued to drive underneath the precariously placed power lines, until the SES was able to put official road closures in place.

A tree down in Noosa after the community was hit by a severe thunderstorm.
A tree down in Noosa after the community was hit by a severe thunderstorm. Jason Brinkley?

He said he wasn't expecting power to be restored for some time, as Energex workers made their way around the Coast to restore power to homes blacked out by the powerful weather system.

UPDATE 1.30PM: POWER was restored to 11,000 by 1pm today but Energex admits it could be days before some people are back on line.

At present 25,484 Sunshine Coast homes remain without power with Energex admitting its primary focus remained on 670 electricity wires in south-east Queensland that remain down.

"Safety remains the priority," a spokesperson said.

Sunshine Coast Local Disaster Management Centre coordinator Andrew Ryan said where possible people should look to find an alternative place to store refrigerated or frozen food.

That may prove difficult in some hinterland communities where every home has been cut off, and the spokesman said hinterland homes are more likely to wait longer for power due to access issues. 

An Energex helicopter has been deployed to help crews find damaged lines in inaccessible areas. 

Even the Sunshine Coast's most densely-populated suburb of Buderim has 2444 homes without electricity while at Bli Bli 3415 have been cut off.

Pacific Paradise (1023), Palmwoods (1028), Yandina (1205), North Arm/Ninderry (680), Woombye (937), Montville (559) and Rosemount (679) have all been badly hit.

At Sippy Downs the University of the Sunshine Coast was forced to close for the day for lectures and examinations after being one of 814 premises that are still waiting to have electricity restored.

All classes and exams at USC campuses at the Sunshine Coast, Gympie, Fraser Coast and Brisbane were cancelled and staff are not required to attend their workplaces.

The severe weather system left USC facilities at the Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast and the Ochre Heath building at Sippy Downs without power.

"USC's Asset Management Services (AMS) staff are working with Energex to address these issues, and have notified staff who work in these facilities," a spokesperson said.

"AMS crews are also progressively removing fallen trees and branches from around the main campus and assessing the safety of all buildings."

However students wanting to access facilities at USC's main campus at Sippy Downs, like the library's 24-hour space, computer labs and student commons areas, remained able to do so.

The spokesperson said motorists approaching the campus are advised to drive carefully as traffic lights along Sippy Downs Drive are currently without power.

UPDATE 10.20AM: More than 35,000 Sunshine Coast homes and businesses are still without power after wild weather tore down powerlines across the region. 

Energex crews are scrambling to clear the danger and restore power throughout south-east Queensland, and have warned that some areas could be left in the dark for some days. 

As of 10am, 25,826 properties in the Sunshine Coast council area and 9,590 properties in the Noosa council area were without power. 

Gympie still has 354 properties without power.

Energex spokesman John Cannon told the Sunshine Coast Daily on Thursday night that crews would work through the night but there were "major safety concerns".


"The big problem we have is getting access into some of these places," he said. 

"As you can appreciate there's a lot of debris and flood water.

"We're confident we can start to have an impact on that number (of outages) probably into tomorrow and throughout the day.

Across south-east Queensland, 90,173 properties on the Energex network were without power this morning.

The service is now only taking emergency calls on 13 19 62 and reports of power losses on 13 62 62, and will not answer general enquiries. 

UPDATE 6.30AM: More than 36,000 homes and businesses in the Sunshine Coast and Noosa Council area remain without power on Friday morning.

Ferocious winds brought down 290 power lines across the Sunshine Coast in a severe storm cell that struck between 5-6pm Thursday as ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie moved south. 

There are 9792 customers are without power in the Noosa area, and 26,415 Sunshine Coast homes and businesses as of 6am Friday morning.

Gympie has more than 350 properties without power.


Across South East Queensland 599 lines have been brought down, and Mr Cannon said it was vital people took their own safety seriously. 

He said fallen powerlines should not be approached and people should stay out of areas where electrical equipment had been submerged.

Electrical equipment that has been submerged in water should not be used until it has been tested by an electrician. 


  • Call 000 if you are in a life threatening situation
  • Call Energex on 13 19 62 to report wires that are down 


Affected suburbs in the Noosa area include: 

Boreen Point, Castaways Beach, Cooroibah, Cooroy, Cooroy Mountain, Cootharaba, Doonan, Lake Macdonald, Marcus Beach, Noosa Heads, Noosa North Shore, Noosaville, Peregian Beach, Pomona, Ridgewood, Ringtail Creek, Sunrise Beach, Tewantin, Tinbeerwah.

On the Sunshine Coast:

 Alexandra Headland, Bald Knob, Balmoral Ridge, Beerburrum, Beerwah, Belli Park, Bells Creek, Bli Bli, Bridges, Buddina, Buderim, Burnside, Caloundra, Caloundra West, Chervallum, Coes Creek, Coochin Creek, Cooloolabin, Coolum Beach, Crohamhurst, Diamond Valley, Diddillibah, Eerwah Vale, Eudlo, Eumundi, Forset Glen, Glasshouse Moutains, Glenview, Hunchy, Ilkley, Image Flat, Kiamba, Kiels Mountain, Kulangoor, Kunda Park, Kureelpa, Landers Shoot, Landsborough, Little Mountain, Maleny, Marcoola, Maroochy River, Maroochydore, Meridan Plains, Minyama, Mons, Montville, Moloolaba, Mooloolah Valley, Mount Coolum, Mountain Creek, Mudjimba, Nambour, Ninderry, North Arm, Pacific Paradise, Palmview, Palmwoods, Parklands, Parrearra, Peachester, Point Arkwright, Reesville, Rosemount, Sippy Downs, Tanawha, Towen Mountain, Valdora, Verrierdale, Warana, West Woombye, Weyba Downs, Woombye, Wootha, Yandina, Yandina Creek, Yaroomba. 


UPDATE: There are now almost 40,000 homes and businesses across the Sunshine Coast without power.

Energex reports 29,223 power outages on the Sunshine Coast and 9640 at Noosa.

EARLIER: Ferocious winds have brought 290 power lines down across the Sunshine Coast, cutting power to almost 40,000 homes and businesses.

Energex spokesman Danny Donald said most of these were between Noosa and the Sunshine Coast, and while teams were restoring power across the area winds up to 124kmh were hampering efforts.

"It's by far the worst in south-east Queensland," he said.

"Currently there are 23,000 out in south-east Queensland."

Across south-east Queensland 93 wires are down, 65 of which are on the Sunshine Coast.

"We're asking people to be aware…there could be wires down across the roads and at wooded areas across the hinterland," he said.


  • Call 000 if you are in a life threatening situation
  • Call Energex on 13 19 62 to report wires that are down 

If a wire is across a road do not drive over it or come in contact in any way.

Do not drive through water if there is any sign of electrical infrastructure such as green boxes and transformers.

"If powerline is on the ground, it can still be live. Don't go anywhere near it," he said.

"Our crews are out there working as hard as we can.

"Winds are up to 120kmh at Double Island Point which means we can't put our bucket trucks up, because they'll get blown over.

"We can't risk the life of our crews or safety of the community, so in some cases we have to halt restoration processes as this goes on.

"It could be a long night for everyone."

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