Time to batten down: summer cyclone could arrive in days

SUMMER'S first cyclone could form in coming days, with Queensland's coastal towns from Port Douglas to Mackay now being warned to prepare for flooding rains and dangerous winds.

Those along the northern end of the Central Queensland coastline, out to the Whitsundays, may face heavy rainfall and flash flooding overnight, with the yet-to-form cyclone forecast to make landfall north of Townsville on Friday morning.

This predicted path could change at any time.

A separate severe weather warning is in place from St Lawrence to Gladstone.

>> Severe weather warning for higher than normal tides

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Lee Johnson said those as far south as Hamilton Island could be affected by a "dangerous storm tide".

"Residents need to familiarise themselves with their cyclone and storm surge risk to decide now if they will evacuate or shelter in place," Mr Johnson said.

>> Mackay's mayor urges residents to be prepared and vigilant

Last minute preparations, he said, needed to be made as soon as possible.

This included clearing gutters, checking the condition of the roof, trimming branches and clearing debris.

Trampolines and swing sets that cannot be brought inside should be secured.

Extra resources have already been dispatched to support Swift Water Rescue crews in Townsville in preparation for the looming cyclone.

For help in floods and storms, phone Queensland SES on 132 500 or 000 in case of emergency.

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To prepare for a cyclone, make sure you have:

  • food
  • water
  • warm clothes
  • medications
  • first aid supplies
  • important documents/valuables
  • sleeping gear

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