Winds from Tropical Cyclone Iris lash Mackay Marina as a yacht owner checks her mooring.
Winds from Tropical Cyclone Iris lash Mackay Marina as a yacht owner checks her mooring. Stuart Quinn

Bureau defends bulletins as Iris sneaks away

CAMERON Wood spent Tuesday night "rocking and rolling" on his 12x6m catamaran power firebridge.

It was all hands on deck, he said, moored in tight at the Mackay Marina, everything double knotted and the hatches battened down.

"We've double roped just in case one rope breaks... double tied the kayaks to the rails, filled the water tanks, made sure we've got enough food... generators," he said.

 

Cameron Wood, of Hope Island, battens down the hatches on his boat Driftwood at Mackay Marina.
Cameron Wood, of Hope Island, battens down the hatches on his boat Driftwood at Mackay Marina. Stuart Quinn

Meanwhile, Bureau of Meteorology state manager Bruce Gunn has defended Bureau operations after several delayed weather bulletins, and a proposal from Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan for a North Queensland cyclone warning centre.

 

"We can reassure the community that the Bureau remains focused on the threat Tropical Cyclone Iris poses and is fully staffed to run a 24/7 forecasting service," Mr Gunn said.

"We understand people were anticipating our 11pm update on Monday evening. A significant change in the assessed threat to the coastline meant forecasters needed additional time to issue our advice. Unfortunately, we did not inform the community of the delay. We sincerely apologise if this caused anxiety or disruption and will do our very best to ensure that this situation does not arise again in the future.

"As has been the case for many years, specialist tropical cyclone and flood forecasting services for Queensland are provided by the Bureau's Brisbane office, with additional support being provided by experts in other states and the NT as needed.

"Our staff also provide direct advice to inform emergency services operations at the State Disaster Control Centre in Kedron, as well as making Bureau forecasters based in Cairns and Townsville available to local disaster management groups for additional briefings."

Mr Gunn finished by saying that no Bureau staff from North Queensland or any other regional location had been laid off.

"As part of a strategy to automate and improve our observations network, some of our observations staff and technicians - not forecasters - have been offered roles elsewhere in the Bureau, including an expanded presence in Cairns."


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