Debbie Moves In

Cyclone Debbie is battering the Whitsunday Islands and is on track to cross the coast at around 2pm near Bowen.

debbie 6-0950-28BoM says Debbie is at Category 4 and moving at 6 kph and has winds gusts of up to 260 kph with gusts at the Centre at 175 kph.

As a Category 4 Debbie is the worst cyclone to hit us in the past 6 years.
Early reports from Police say roofs are lifting in the Whitsundays region and there are reports damage to police facilities.

Destructive winds with gusts over 125 km/h are occurring further up and down the coast and islands between about Bowen and Midge Point, including Proserpine, and will extend further along the coast to areas between Ayr and Sarina during this morning or afternoon.

Areas, including Collinsville, Charters Towers, and Mount Coolon, Pentland and Moranbah can expect to see such gusts across the day or by this afternoon and tonight.

Residents between Ayr and St Lawrence are specifically warned of the dangerous storm tide as the cyclone crosses the coast.

The sea is likely to rise steadily up to a level which will be significantly above the normal tide, with damaging waves, strong currents and flooding of low-lying areas extending some way inland

Police and emergency services are also warning of areas of heavy rain with the potential to cause severe flash flooding.

Widespread daily rainfall totals of 150 to 250 mm, with isolated event totals of 500 mm, are also likely to lead to major river flooding over a broad area this week, and a Flood Watch is current for coastal catchments between Rollingstone and Gladstone, extending inland to the Upper Flinders, Thomson and Barcoo catchments.

Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said the cyclone’s very slow march towards the coast meant a very long and dangerous time ahead for people in and around the expected landfall site just to the south of the coastal town of Bowen.