The Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG) met this afternoon to discuss the current weather event. LDMG Chair Cr. Lyn McLaughlin advised that all agencies have provided an update on their cyclone plans and have undertaken the necessary preparations.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) issued an update at 5pm which indicates the tropical low has been showing signs of strengthening and has been moving towards the south-southeast during today. On Saturday, the low is expected to develop into a tropical cyclone and adopt a west-southwesterly track, bringing it towards the north Queensland coast. Conditions are expected to favour the continued intensification of the system as it approaches the coast over the weekend and early next week.
BOM also advises that given the expected intensification of the low and the forecast track towards the coast, coastal and island communities between Cape Tribulation and St Lawrence, including the Whitsunday Islands, may begin to be affected by this expected tropical cyclone during Saturday evening or Sunday morning.
The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting a considerable amount of rain which may lead to flooding.
Cr. McLaughlin advised residents it is necessary to prepare your homes by securing loose items outside and ensuring emergency kits containing non-perishable food items, water, torches and batteries, medical and sanitation items and communications (radios, telephones etc) are organised.
As a precaution, SES has opened both the Ayr and Home Hill Headquarters with sand and sandbags available for residents. Giru SES will be opened tomorrow.
“It is important that the community is not alarmed by the weather reports but remains calm and undertakes the necessary preparations for an event. It is also important to check on elderly neighbours or family members who may require assistance,” Cr. McLaughlin said.
The LDMG will be reconvening at 1.30pm on Saturday 25 March, 2017.