PREPARED: Businesses are taking plenty of precautionary measures before Cyclone Debbie hits.
PREPARED: Businesses are taking plenty of precautionary measures before Cyclone Debbie hits. inge hansen

What's available to Whitsunday residents prior to Cyclone Debbie


  • TC Debbie has formed in the Coral Sea and is expected to intensify to a Category 4 after hitting landfall at 6-7am tomorrow morning.
  • A 'Watch Zone' has been issued for Cairns to Ayr
  • A 'Warning Zone' is in place for Ayr to St Lawrence, including the Mackay and Whitsunday regions
  • Thousands have been evacuated across the Whitsunday region
  • The Bureau has labelled Debbie the most significant cyclone to hit Queensland since Category 5 Cyclone Yasi in 2011

WITH Cyclone Debbie set to hit the region tomorrow morning, many Whitsunday businesses are preparing by closing their doors while others are welcoming customers until the last minute.

Here is a list of what's open and what's closed across in the local area before Debbie arrives.

What's open

  • Whitsunday Plaza (Centro) including Telstra, Whitsunday Seafood, Big W, LiveLife Pharmacy closing at 12pm or earlier
  • IGA open until 7pm dependent on weather
  • Cannonvale Newsagency open until further notice
  • Reef Gateway Hotel until 12am and possibly tomorrow dependent on weather

What's closed

  • Buck's Seafood
  • Whitsunday Counselling and Support Inc. (Whitsunday Crisis and Counselling Service)
  • 121 Medical Centre
  • Cannonvale Medical Centre
  • The Doctors, Airlie Beach
  • BWS


Whitsunday Regional Council has urged local residents to be familiar with which evacuation (storm tide) zone their homes and businesses are in ahead of Cyclone Debbie's arrival.

Currently, those located in the Red Zone are identified as being at the highest risk of inundation or isolation from a cyclone storm tide.

Whitsunday Mayor Andrew Willcox said residents needed to prepare in case of evacuation over the next few days as Monday's tides were expected to exceed a king tide level.

"Evacuation of the Red Zone may occur with any cyclone depending on tide, intensity and location," he said.

"While some properties may be safe from the effects of storm tide, main access routes to those properties could be at risk so it is important that residents know their zone in the event of an evacuation."

If your property is one of the thousands of properties located in the evacuation zone, the following should be done.

  • Prepare an evacuation plan - identify your primary evacuation route and alternative evacuation routes.
  • Prepare an emergency kit
  • Consider and identify your evacuation and shelter options, these may include: going to friends, family, accommodation premises in a higher and safer place outside the evacuation zone, leaving the cyclone warning area entirely, Public Cyclone Shelters (last resort and only if open) are located in Bowen and Proserpine, shelter inside your house if too late or unable to evacuate.
  • Tune into warnings as authorities will advise which colour zones need to evacuate.

Useful links

The Evacuation (Storm Tide) Maps and informational video can be found at

Whitsunday Disaster and Emergency Information Facebook page (up to date information) -

QLD Traffic (up to date road closure information) -

Hamilton Plains Flood Camera -

Link for residents who would like to subscribe to alert centre emails -

Link to Evacuation Maps (Storm Tide) if residents are enquiring what zone they're in -

Link to Emergency Action Guide -

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