North Queenslanders urged to be prepared as cyclone brews

January 24, 2024 9:12 am in by
Image: BOM

A tropical low is developing slowly in the central Coral Sea and is expected to become a tropical cyclone tonight as it tracks west-southwest towards the Queensland coast.

The system is likely to cross the coast on Thursday night between Cardwell and Bowen as a Category 2 system.

It is expected to bring gales with damaging wind gusts of up to 120 km/h to coastal and island communities between Ayr and Cardwell, including Townsville during Thursday.

Article continues after this ad

In the longer term, the system is likely to track further inland as a tropical low bringing heavy to intense rain to parts of central and western Queensland.

Residents between Innisfail to Ayr, including Townsville and inland to Charters Towers, should consider what action they will need to take if the cyclone threat increases.

The Townsville Local Disaster Management Group (TLDMG) continues to monitor the system.

TLDMG Chair and Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill says council has been preparing by removing stinger nets and shade structures across the region.

“Even though we are yet to see a cyclone form, we want to give the community confidence the TLDMG is ready to respond,” she says.

Article continues after this ad

“The TLDMG is encouraging residents to get their emergency kits ready, ensuring they include any prescription medicine, cash and identify documents.

“I ask the community to be considerate and only take what you need. We know 25 sandbags are adequate to protect an average house from inundation.”

Sandbag sites in Townsville:

  • Ross Dam car park, Upper Ross, behind the Parks compound
  • Lou Litster Park, behind Officeworks at Hermit Park
  • The carpark at the Local Disaster Coordination Centre Dalrymple Road Depot
  • Corner of Bruce Highway & Mt Low Parkway
  • Bluewater SES Depot
  • Rupertswood Rural Fire Shed (14 Progress Rd, Alice River)
  • Cungulla Community Centre

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin says the Burdekin LDMG has learnt from previous weather events that preparation is key.

Article continues after this ad

“I want to assure residents that the LDMG have been monitoring the weather system.

“We have learned from previous weather events that preparation is key to minimising the damage and disruption caused by these events.

“It is also a timely reminder to review your emergency kit and emergency plan if you haven’t done so recently.

“To keep informed about the low system’s progress and potential impacts, I encourage residents to check the Burdekin Disaster Dashboard regularly and sign up for notifications at”

Sandbag sites in the Burdekin Shire:

Article continues after this ad
  • Home Hill SES
  • Ayr SES
  • Giru SES