Category one Tropical Cyclone Penny to cross Queensland coast this afternoon

| 01.01,19. 01:37 PM |


Category one Tropical Cyclone Penny to cross Queensland coast this afternoon



Tropical Cyclone Penny is expected to cross the Queensland coast near Weipa around 4:00pm today, bringing heavy rain and damaging winds.


The category one system is still in the Gulf of Carpentaria, moving slowly eastwards towards the Cape York Peninsula.


Dean Narramore from the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) said there was a small chance the cyclone could strengthen to category two before making landfall.


"It's not out of the realm of possibility but at this stage [it's] looking like a pretty strong category one system," he said.


"We're already seeing wind gusting at Weipa to around 67kph with the rain moving in as well, so we should see those winds increase as we move into the afternoon and evening hours."


BOM senior forecaster Gabriel Branescu said the cyclone would be "short-lived".


"It will move quickly over land just south of Weipa as a category one system, but still strong enough to carry 90kph winds, and gusts to up 120kph," he said.


"It should weaken pretty quick but then it'll pop out in the northern coral sea today … or tomorrow."


Queensland Fire and Emergency Services have deployed extra swift water rescue crews and co-ordination staff to affected communities on Cape York.


Acting Deputy Commissioner Steve Smith said residents should be prepared for heavy rain, damaging winds and flash flooding.


"Communities from Pormpuraaw up to the Cape can expect weather to deteriorate as we move through today and in the coming days," he said.


"We've got some resources moved in to support local communities and we urge residents to do the preparation required now to put themselves into a safe position and to monitor the conditions as they unfold.


"It is a community that's obviously used to experiencing cyclone activity, however we need people to remain vigilant and avoid complacency and prepare their properties, check on their neighbours and friends."


Weipa Town Authority chairman Michael Rowland said flights had been cancelled, the harbour was closed, and roads in and out of Weipa had been cut off.


"[We] definitely started to see an increase in wind and rain activity and even this morning we're starting to see a few squalls coming through," he said.


"You definitely feel there's something brewing."


Weipa marine rescue coordinator Bill Garnaut said residents had been preparing by removing hazards, including a pontoon which took four hours to move from the water.


"It's squeaky clean what happens in Weipa, everyone seems to have their roles," he said.


"The people up here have become quite resilient as far as that's concerned and they don't really need to get a lot of things ready because they seem to stay ready.


"Weipa's one of those places that is able to weather a storm, excuse the pun."


SES and swift-water-rescue crews have also been deployed to the Indigenous community of Aurakun, south of Weipa.


"The problem is that there has been a lot of lead-up rain so the ground is very wet and soggy," SES area controller Peter Rinaudo said.


"So any winds hitting trees that have unsecured root systems can [cause them to] fall over," he said.


Roads are cut into the township of about 1,000 people, but Mr Rinaudo said they were well prepared.


"We have a well-equipped store and just had a barge of supplies arrive," he said.


Mr Rinaudo said it was positive for residents the cyclone was due to cross in the afternoon.


"They sound 10 times worse at night," he said.


"At this stage the likely crossing won't coincide with a high tide anywhere on the western cape, so we shouldn't see any inundation based on that, so that's one less thing to worry about."


A flood watch remains current for coastal catchments north of Cardwell, including catchments across the Cape York Peninsula.


A severe weather warning is also current for rainfall on the northeast tropical coast.


As the cyclone approaches the coast, a storm tide is expected between Cape York and Cape Keerweer.


abc


(Votes: 0)

Write Your Comment
Comment

Other News

Sydney New Year's Eve revellers hit by heavy rain after camping overnight to see fireworks New Year's Eve celebrations in Australia's capital cities will include new pastel fireworks and extra public transport Man dies after being run over while asleep at a camping ground in southern New South Wales Queenslanders in state's far north urged to factor tropical cyclone threat into New Year's Day plans Man dies after taking 'unknown substance' at Lost Paradise music festival NSW Government to crack down on dodgy building certifiers following Opal Tower saga Teenager shot by police in Brisbane after wielding knives and 'threatening officers' Police arrest Chilean 'tourists' allegedly running luxury goods burglary syndicate in Australia Boy, 7, travelling with truck driver dad dies in Darling Downs highway collision Deaths in Duncraig and Clarkson house fights see two men charged with murder NSW Police investigate video of officer appearing to tell driver 'go back to China' during traffic stop Sydney Opal Tower crack photos emerge as NSW Government launches investigation Bonnyrigg man who shot stepmother in head with nail gun on Christmas Day charged with attempted murder Drone operator stops Christmas Day bushfire waterbombing on Bruny Grafton man shot by police after allegedly lunging at them with knife Australians lose more than $200 million a year by paying with cards over cash BOM warns Australians to expect 'extreme heatwaves' after Christmas Woman left on road after hit-and-run in Adelaide on Christmas morning Daughter sees parents killed in crash after Christmas church service in Townsville Sydney Opal Tower at 'no risk' of collapse, but many residents still unable to return home 'An absolute tragedy': Surf warnings issued after father and son drown ranian truck drivers launch the 5th round of strike New imported 'luxury' vehicles for federal MPs to be trialled in 2019 BOM warns Australians to expect 'extreme heatwaves' after Christmas Sydney Opal Tower apartment building evacuated after reports of cracking noises Woman allegedly flees fatal crash in stolen car, leaving kids and dead passenger behind Learner driver charged over 20yo man's death near Cairns party Holidaymakers told to delay trips to Bremer Bay as fire threatens town Ice seizure on Federal Highway will have 'significant' impact on drug trade, police say Man 'left to die' by driver in hit-and-run in Geelong