Tropical Cyclone Debbie – Update 4

The latest update from Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) indicates that Tropical Cyclone Debbie is starting to adopt a west-southwest track towards the north Queensland coast and is currently forecast to intensify into a category 3 system this evening. Tropical cyclone Debbie is likely to intensify further prior to making landfall between Lucinda and the area north of Mackay on Tuesday morning.

Areas of heavy rain with the potential to cause severe flash flooding are expected to develop about parts of the northern and central Queensland coast and adjacent inland areas late on Sunday and continue through Monday and Tuesday. Major river flooding may also develop over a broad area next week and a Flood Watch is current for coastal catchments between Cairns and Gladstone, extending inland to the eastern Gulf River catchments.

The Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG) Chair, Cr, Lyn McLaughlin advised that the LDMG met this morning at 9am. The LDMG have a number of key messages for the community:

Key Messages:

  • Have your Cyclone Emergency Kit ready – including food and water for 3 days fuel in car, cash money, medication, torch, batteries, radio etc.
  • Keep your mobile phone fully charged.
  • Tune into Sweet FM 97.1 or your “local” radio station for regular updates.
  • Clean up your yards.
  • Check your homes and make secure.
  • Organise a safe place for your pets and remember food and water for them for 3 days.
  • Check on relatives, neighbours and any elderly residents you know.

Transfer Stations Opening Times:

  • Ayr Transfer Station is operating as normal from 9am-5pm today.
  • Home Hill Transfer Station is also open from 10am-5pm today.
  • Giru Transfer Station will be opened from 3pm-6pm today.
  • Kirknie Landfill which will be open from 8.30am-5pm today.
  • SES headquarters in Ayr, Home Hill and Giru will have sand and sand bags available.

There are no places of refuge open at present; however consideration will be given to opening the Place of Refuge at the Ayr Showgrounds on Monday 27 March, 2017 as Tropical Cyclone Debbie gets closer to the coast. At this stage, Council is advising concerned residents to seek shelter with family or friends. If residents are planning to leave the district, it is advised to do so today (Sunday) and check road conditions before leaving.

Council has received advice from the Premier and Minister for the Arts, the Hon. Annastacia Palaszczuk notifying that twenty-five state schools between Proserpine and Ayr will be closed tomorrow.

Council’s Customer Service Call Centre will be manned today (Sunday 26 March) from 8am to assist with telephone enquiries.

The most current information is available from the BOM website ( and Council’s website ( and Facebook pages (Burdekin Shire Council and Burdekin Shire Council Disaster Coordination Centre).

The LDMG will continue to work closely with the District Disaster Management Group (DDMG) and the State Disaster Coordination Centre monitoring the developments of Tropical Cyclone Debbie. Please be assured that the situation is being constantly monitored.

State Government Departments are ramping up their preparations with additional resources being provided. Emergency Services have also deployed additional staff to the region.

The LDMG will be reconvening at 4pm on Sunday 26 March, 2017.

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