Environment

Canberra pelted with rain and hail as thunderstorm rolls through

Canberra was pelted with rain, hail, lightning and thunder as a severe thunderstorm passed through the capital on Wednesday afternoon.

Wind gusts of up to 70 kilometres an hour shook the territory, while 16 millimetres of rain had fallen by  7pm.

An attendant mops up a leak from the roof during question time at Parliament House in Canberra
An attendant mops up a leak from the roof during question time at Parliament House in Canberra  Photo: Andrew Meares

The rain was so intense that the roof of the House of Representatives began  leaking and a bucket was called for.

The ACT State Emergency Service said the issue was not isolated. They had received 25 calls for help by 7pm including a fallen tree on a house in Hackett.

Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce and Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop observe a leak from the roof during a storm ...
Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce and Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop observe a leak from the roof during a storm outside, during Question Time at Parliament House in Canberra. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

The ACT SES Majura Unit attended the Brannan Street home which sustained minor damage. 

Most calls for help were related to leaking roofs and damaged branches falling from trees.

The service urged the community to stay clear of flooded drains and waterways and for motorists to take care and drive to the conditions.

The Bureau of Meteorology originally issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the ACT and region, saying damaging winds were likely and there was the possibility of large hail.

The warning said storms were affecting Belconnen, Canberra Civic, Gungahlin, Canberra Airport, South Canberra, Weston Creek and Woden Valley and would hit Queanbeyan, Tuggeranong and Hume by 3.10pm.

Speaker Bronwyn Bishop noted the roof of Parliament House was leaking and called for a bucket during the  afternoon. 

"Our roof is leaking. I realise that leaking is a familiar problem for political parties but I think we may need a bucket," she said.

Politicians quickly jumped on board the joke.

Residents can call the ACT SES on 132 500 for storm or flood assistance.

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