Queensland on cyclone watch as flood clean-up continues in state's north

| 13.03,18. 01:31 PM |

Queensland on cyclone watch as flood clean-up continues in state's north

Photo: About 90 per cent of homes were affected in Ingham. (Supplied: @AnnastaciaMP)

A tropical low in the Coral Sea is continuing to move towards Queensland's south-east, but the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) says it has not yet intensified into a cyclone.

The system is about 1,300 kilometres north-east of the Sunshine Coast and will keep tracking south today.

The system is not expected to cross the coast.

If the low does not intensify into a tropical cyclone, it is still expected to bring dangerous surf from south of Fraser Island.

Forecaster Rick Threlfall said the system would move close to the south-east Queensland coast on Wednesday, bringing strong winds and dangerous surf.

"It is going to come fairly close to the south-eastern corner of Queensland," he said.

"It'll still be around about 300 kilometres offshore during Thursday and Friday, but we will start to feel the effects of that during tomorrow, particularly later on in the day on the Sunshine Coast and then into the evening on the Gold Coast we'll see the surf really starting to pick up."

Mr Threlfall said a dangerous surf warning had been issued for Wednesday, with forecasts of abnormally high tides.

"We're looking at possibly 3 to 4 metre waves getting right onto the beach itself, and we'll also get fairly close to the highest tide of the year on the high tide tomorrow morning, but possibly even higher tides on Thursday morning," he said.

"It may cause a bit of erosion and could cause a few problems for the preparations for the Commonwealth Games and even for the big surf event that's coming up on the Gold Coast as well, so not the best timing for this system to come down towards the south-eastern corner of Queensland.

"It is going to be pretty messy Wednesday and Thursday, with strong, possibly gale-force, winds."

Sunshine Coast Council disaster management coordinator Kathy Buck said at this stage not much rain was predicted, beyond about 50 millimetres over next few days.

"There is a severe weather warning out for heavy surf which we are obviously observing and Surf Life Saving Queensland advised they will be looking at the beaches, whether or not they close those over the next couple of days however — at this stage we're looking at probably just the high winds," she said.

"We're just basically advising people to stay away from the water at this stage and it's not safe to go swimming or rock fishing … be aware of the situation and just to maintain their safety around those beaches.

"Tides may be a bit above normal, however they're not expected to go above any of those low-lying areas at all."

The State Emergency Service was getting sandbags prepared in case they were needed, and at least 25 residents in the Redlands City Council have already taken some home.


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