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  • Writer's pictureLynna Tan

Gatton Stands Strong: Unpacking the Devastating Hailstorm of 2023 and the Resilience of a Community

Updated: Jun 4



Introduction:

On December 23, 2023, the rural town of Gatton, nestled in the Lockyer Valley of Queensland, was hit by an unparalleled hailstorm. The storm, which unleashed hailstones of over 10cm in diameter, caused extensive damage to properties and vehicles, prompting the deployment of emergency services. The local communities rallied together, providing much-needed support to those impacted by the unexpected weather event.


About Gatton:

Gatton is a small rural town with a population of 7,851 according to the 2023 Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) report. The town spans an area of 25.92 square kilometres and comprises approximately 3,120 homes. With a balanced demographic of 48.6% male and 51.4% female residents, the town stands resilient in the face of natural challenges.


Accessing the Gatton Hailstorm:

According to Hail Trace, a renowned weather monitoring source, the recent hailstorm in Gatton caused significant damage. The hailstones, measuring up to a whopping 10cm in diameter, were accompanied by wind speeds of 64km/h, a weather combination that led to a considerable level of damage. The image below shows the extent of the damage caused during the event, highlighted in yellow, red, and purple colours. The affected area is enclosed in green.



Another map source was taken from Weather Watch which shows the severity of the hail storm damage coloured in red and blue. 



The table below shows the storm event that happened in Gatton:

Date

23rd December 2023

Size

10 CM

Wind Speed

64 KM/H


BOM, X, Twitter Source:

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), Australia's national weather, climate, and water agency, issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Southeast Queensland on December 23 at 6:36 pm. The warning detailed the potential threats of damaging winds, heavy rainfall, and sizeable hailstones. The warning map pinpointed four distinct areas of concern, with Gatton highlighted in yellow.



Higgins Storm Chasing Facebook Source:

Higgins Storm Chasing reported extensively on the hailstorm via their Facebook page. Their post revealed the extensive damage suffered by roofs and cars in Gatton, stating "Countless cars have suffered considerable and extensive damage from the hail in Gatton tonight - with numerous cars having every window blown out, and the majority of cars suffering at least 'some' damage with tennis ball to softball size hail observed."


Conclusion:

Despite the shock and devastation caused by the unexpected hailstorm, the resilient spirit of Gatton's community shines through. This event underscores the need for continuous weather monitoring and preparedness for such extreme weather events. Rebuild Relief is committed to aiding the Gatton community during this challenging time, standing ready to lend a helping hand.  We are here to help you. 


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