Coastal and island communities located between Ayr and Sarina are urged to put their safety first in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Dylan.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) advised that Tropical Cyclone Dylan crossed the coast near Hideaway Bay (east of Bowen) at approximately 3.30am as a Category 2 cyclone. It is now moving further inland and weakening.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) crews and State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers are currently assisting local residents with emergency response and have received around 90 requests for assistance in the past 24 hours.
Requests to the SES have stretched from Cairns to Gladstone and were concentrated around Mackay. Requests have included wind damage to property, leaking roofs, trees down and sandbagging.
QFES Commissioner Lee Johnson said residents should remain indoors as severe weather continues to impact the area.
“Damaging wind gusts to 120 kilometres per hour are currently occurring in coastal communities between Ayr and Sarina and will extend to adjacent inland areas later this morning,” Mr Johnson said.
“Destructive wind gusts to 140 kilometres per hour may still occur close to the system during the next few hours. Although these winds are expected to ease by late morning, it’s important for residents to remain indoors during these conditions.
“There is likely to be a number of hazards including fallen trees, power lines, debris and even possible structural damage to infrastructure and it is vital people do not explore collapsed buildings or go sightseeing.
“If electrical appliances in your home have been wet, do not use them until they’re checked for safety and ensure you boil or purify water until supplies are declared safe.”
Mr Johnson said coastal residents between Ayr and Sarina were likely to be affected by a dangerous storm tide on this morning’s high tide.
“People living in these areas should take measures to protect their property as much as possible and be prepared to follow instructions regarding evacuation of the area if advised to do so by authorities,” he said.
“Heavy rain and flash flooding is also expected across the Central Coast and Whitsunday districts, so it’s critical for residents to remember: ‘If it’s flooded, forget it.’
“Under no circumstance should people enter flooded creeks or causeways by road or on foot. If you come across rising floodwaters, turn around and seek an alternative route.
“Parents are also asked to keep a close eye on their children who may be tempted to explore the area and play in floodwaters.”
Mr Johnson said SES volunteers were currently out in force working to assist the community but due to the demand on their workload it could take some time for them to reach you.
“The public are asked to remember that the SES is made up of volunteers dedicated to helping others and the SES will always put the safety of its volunteers first during adverse weather conditions,” he said.
“The SES will also assist the most vulnerable members of the community first so it is important able-bodied residents did everything they could to help themselves and their community instead of putting unnecessary pressure on emergency authorities.
“If your situation is life-threatening, ensure you call triple zero (000) immediately. Keep up to date with the movement and severity of the cyclone by listening to your local radio and monitoring the BoM website.”
For storm and flood assistance contact the SES on 132 500.
For further information on how to prepare your home visit www.getready.qld.gov.au and to keep updated on warnings monitor the BoM website at www.bom.gov.au.