Friday 31 January 2014

Cyclone hits Queensland

Cyclone Dylan hits north Queensland
Torrential rain and wind gusts up to 140km/h are battering north Queensland as Cyclone Dylan makes landfall.

31 January, 2014

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) says the category two cyclone made landfall near Proserpine, north of Mackay, just after 4am (AEST) on Friday.

Forecaster Chris Joseph told AAP the storm is moving about 16km/h in a southerly direction and is expected head inland in the next three to six hours.
"It is still a dangerous storm," he said.

Wind gusts up to 135km/h were felt at Flinders Reef, about 250 kilometres off Bowen.

Mr Joseph says heavy rain is battering much of the north Queensland coast.
About 450mm of rain was dumped at Pioneer River basin, west of Mackay, in the 24 hours from 9am (AEST) Thursday.

About 200-300mm of rain is expected in other areas.

Mr Joseph says residents in low-lying areas could be flooded during a king tide on Friday morning.

A cyclone warning remains in place for coastal and island communities from Townsville to St Lawrence, extending to adjacent inland areas including Collinsville.

A BOM alert issued at 2am (AEST) said damaging gusts up to 120km/h are possible between Townsville and St Lawrence on Friday morning.

Destructive winds up to 140km/h may be felt in some areas for brief periods.
Winds are expected to ease rapidly by the afternoon.

Heavy rain, which may lead to flash flooding, is expected about coastal and adjacent inland areas of the Herbert and Lower Burdekin and the Central Coast and Whitsundays districts.

Coastal residents between Ayr and Mackay are being warned a dangerous storm tide may hit during high tide on Friday morning.

"The sea is likely to rise steadily up to a level well above the normal tide, with damaging waves and flooding of some low-lying areas close to the shoreline," the weather bureau said in a statement.

Residents are being advised to take measures to protect their properties.

A separate severe weather warning is current for remaining coastal and island communities from Cooktown to Cardwell and from St Lawrence to Gladstone, extending inland to the northern Central Highlands and eastern parts of the Central West districts.

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