Australia – QLD – QFES asks far north residents and visitors to prepare for TC Penny

Tropical Cyclone (TC) Penny is expected to cause wild weather across far north Queensland in the coming days and everyone in the region is being asked to prepare for heavy rainfall, damaging winds and possible flash flooding.

Communities located between Cape York and Pormpuraaw are being asked to ensure their properties are prepared before taking shelter when the system crosses the coast this afternoon.  

The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) advised Tropical Cyclone Penny had formed in the eastern Gulf of Carpentaria this morning (Tuesday) and is expected to cross the coast near Weipa this afternoon as a category 1 cyclone. 

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) Far Northern Region Assistant Commissioner John Bolger said it was important for locals to follow the directions of authorities and either shelter in place until the cyclone passed or relocate to a safer place if asked.

“Those who remain in place should shelter in the strongest part of the house and ensure their emergency kit is close by,” Mr Bolger said.

“It’s also important that people stay inside until they receive official advice that the cyclone has passed. Some people are not aware of the calm eye of the cyclone and mistakenly venture outside thinking that the threat has passed.

“Keep up to date with the movement and severity of the cyclone by listening to local radio and watching the BoM website.”

With Tropical Cyclone Penny expected to track towards the eastern coast of far north Queensland after making landfall, communities in the Cape York Peninsula and parts of the north tropical coast are being asked to finalise their preparations.

“If you are visiting or holidaying in Queensland and do not have family or friends to shelter with, contact your accommodation manager immediately to identify the options available,” Mr Bolger said.

“If you are a resident and you don’t have a safe location to go to, please contact your local council for options.”

Importantly, Mr Bolger said the intense rainfall could result in flash flooding of creeks, drains and causeways. 

“The simple and constant message here is 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, please also discourage your children from playing or swimming in flooded creeks and drains. Floodwaters can be deadly and there are many dangers lurking beneath the surface.”

State Emergency Service (SES) Regional Director Wayne Coutts said SES crews would be on hand to help the community as soon as it is safe to do so. 

“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,” Mr Coutts said. 

“The SES will also assist the most vulnerable members of the community first so it is important able-bodied residents do everything they can to help themselves and their community instead of putting unnecessary pressure on emergency authorities.”

For storm and flood assistance contact the State Emergency Service (SES) on 132 500 and in a life threatening emergency call Triple Zero (000). 

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

QLD – Far North prepares for wet weather

Police are urging the North Queensland community to work with emergency services in anticipation of a large amount of rain due to hit the area in the next week.

With the possibility of significant rainfalls forecast in the coming week, Far North Queensland emergency services are seeking the cooperation of motorists and residents so everyone stays safe.

Queensland Police Chief Superintendent and Far North District Disaster Coordinator Brian Huxley is asking motorists to be mindful of the significant rainfall already received across the region and that there is plenty more to come.

“We have already had reports of a vehicle being stuck in flood waters on a major road and emergency services are currently looking for a woman believed to be lost near a flood creek,’ he said.

‘The last thing we police want to do is to have to advise family members that their loved one has been lost whilst attempting to drive through flooded waters or swimming in flood rivers, creeks or causeway’.

Police would also like parents to be mindful and talk to their children of the temptations of playing or swimming in flooded areas during the holidays and remind them how dangerous it is.