North Queenslanders urged to prepare for severe weather

Minister for Police and Corrective Services and Minister for Fire and Emergency Services The Honourable Mark Ryan

Communities between Cape Flattery and Lucinda are being asked to finalise preparations, with the low off the north tropical coast expected to reach tropical cyclone strength tomorrow.

Minister for Fire and Emergency Services Mark Ryan encouraged residents in the warning area to take the time now to ensure their homes and families were ready for gale-force winds, heavy rainfall and abnormally high tides.

“Parts of the north, including Palm Island off Townsville, are already experiencing gale force winds and heavy rain.

“The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) is forecasting that the system will likely remain off the coast as it intensifies over the next two days. However, it may stay close enough to bring severe weather to exposed coastal fringes and island communities,” Mr Ryan said.

“This means gales with gusts up to 100km/hr, heavy rainfall and abnormally high tides are likely from today and throughout Tuesday. So, now is the time for those areas to take action and prepare.

“Ensure you clean up your yard by bringing small items inside and tying down any large items such as swing sets and trampolines.

“Don’t leave anything to chance in case you’re cut off due to flooding. Stock an emergency kit with essential supplies including food, water, warm clothes, medications, first aid supplies, important documents, valuables, a battery-powered or wind-up radio and sleeping gear.”

Mr Ryan said some parts of the warning area were already saturated, meaning residents should be very aware of the consequences of further heavy rainfall in their area.

“Avoid areas that are prone to flooding. Nobody should ever consider entering flooded creeks or causeways by road or on foot,” he said.

“Think about the consequences of your actions and don’t risk your life or the lives of rescuers. As always: If It’s Flooded, Forget It.”

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) Commissioner Greg Leach said personnel were positioned and ready to respond.

“Resources have been pre-deployed to strategic locations around the state, with highly-trained Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) swiftwater technicians at Tully, Halifax and Ingham,” Mr Leach said.

“Our State Emergency Service (SES) flood rescue operators are also ready to help if required.

“While many people in these parts of the state are accustomed to severe weather, I’m urging residents to keep up to date with the latest BOM warnings and to follow the advice of authorities.

“If you need storm or flood assistance contact the SES on 132 500, and if it’s a life-threatening emergency call Triple Zero (000) immediately.”

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