Tuggeranong hyperdome floods as hail hits Canberra
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Tuggeranong hyperdome floods as hail hits Canberra

Canberra was hit with its second thunderstorm in two days on Wednesday, flooding parts of the Tuggeranong hyperdome and hammering the suburb with hail.

But the wild weather has not dampened the stinking hot forecast for the capital and the weather bureau expects the recent spate of days above 30 degrees to continue.

On Wednesday afternoon, as the rain radar revealed a storm bearing down on Tuggeranong, the Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the ACT.

Canberra Airport recorded 3mm of rain between 2.30pm and 3pm.

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ACT Emergency Services said there were 60 call-outs for crews because of the storm, mostly falling trees and roofs letting in water.

And while water was the problem in one part of the region, the RFS was fighting a bushfire to the east of Bendora Dam. There was no threat to life or property.  Remote Area Fighting Teams were on scene, supported by two medium helicopters waterbombing and winching crews to the fire ground.

At South Point shopping centre,  shoppers had to run for cover when the water broke through.

A number of businesses had to close because of the flooding.

One storeholder said, "It was sudden. It seemed like it came at a million miles an hour."

He added that the freak storm only lasted for about ten minutes but in that time water in the centre was ankle deep.

Lightning strikes over Canberra on Tuesday night as a storm front rolled through.

Lightning strikes over Canberra on Tuesday night as a storm front rolled through.Credit:Sitthixay Ditthavong

Another storeholder said, "It was scary."

It's not clear how the water got in, whether through the roof or from ground level. It's not the first time it's happened there, one store owner said there was a similar flash flood a year ago.

Kelly Cole was visiting the centre at the time, and said the "storm came in suddenly and then ended just as suddenly".

"There was strong winds, rain and hail when I was in the carpark, myself and another couple had to run away from the strength of the wind pushing the heavy rain and hail towards us," she recalled.

Although short lived, the storm left a mess in its path, closing the two stores Ms Cole was planning to visit due to flooding.

"The closed quite a few shops. I was heading to Kmart but it was closed. JB Hi-Fi was the other shop I wanted to go it but it was closed too," she said.

Stores closed because of the flash flood.

Stores closed because of the flash flood.Credit:Jamila Toderas

Management at the centre declined to comment.

The thunderstorm warning was cancelled at 4.20pm, but the bureau said there was still a chance of a storm - possibly a severe one - into the evening.

The city had already been treated to a light show on Tuesday night when a storm front rolled over the territory.


An infrared satellite loop produced by the Bureau of Meteorology showed lightning strikes concentrated on the south western edge of the ACT and the north western border on Tuesday.

But, despite the storm clouds, the hot weather continued on Wednesday, reaching 35.4 degrees at 1.17pm.

A top of 32 degrees is expected for Thursday before the mercury climbs back up to 39 for Friday and Saturday.

Hail in Tuggeranong on Wednesday afternoon.

Hail in Tuggeranong on Wednesday afternoon.Credit:David Jenkins

Jasper is a reporter for The Canberra Times.

Sherryn Groch is a reporter for The Canberra Times, with a special interest in education and social affairs

Emily Barton is a producer at The Canberra Times.

Steve Evans is a reporter for The Canberra Times.

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