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Cyclone Debbie: storm downgraded to tropical low

Heavy rain and damaging winds continue as the severe weather system moves southwards

 

Severe winds and heavy rainfall overnight are believed to have caused massive infrastructure damage between Bowen and Midge Point, including Proserpine.

However, the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) crew there is still unable to access most parts due to current weather conditions.

Queensland main roads and road safety minister Mark Bailey says the TMR crew will assess road and infrastructure damage as soon as it is declared safe to do so.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has downgraded Cyclone Debbie to a tropical low today.

As of 11am today, the cyclone was located over inland central Queensland about 130 kilometres west-northwest of Moranbah, affecting those in the following areas:

  • Central Coast and Whitsundays
  • Central Highlands and Coalfields          
  • Capricornia and parts of the Central West
  • Maranoa and Warrego districts.

BOM predicts the severe weather system will “continue moving southwards over the central interior of the state today before tracking south-eastwards during Thursday”.

Both the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) and the minister are recommending people to avoid “non-essential” travel.

“As much as possible, we’re asking people to stay off the road in Cyclone Debbie affected areas just to keep the roads clear for our hard-working emergency services personnel,” Bailey says.

“We want to give them a clear run to inspect our road networks and minimise any potential delays due to other vehicles on the road.

“If you don’t need to be on the road, please stay at home, even if the worst of the Cyclone Debbie related weather has passed you by.”

The minister is urging people to pre-plan their trip through QLDTraffic before stepping out on the roads.

“The QLDTraffic website, app or phone line is the ultimate source for road closure and traffic information from the ground.

“QLDTraffic has timely, reliable and accurate traffic and travel information which is regularly updated by the department.

“If you live in any area affected by Cyclone Debbie or related severe weather, it is essential you use this service when planning your trip.”

Pleading caution on roads, Bailey says: “Even if it appears flooded has subsided, these closed roads might have sustained damage that you just can’t see.”

Call 13 19 40 or visit QLDTraffic.qld.gov.au for updates on traffic conditions and roadworks.

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