Tropical cyclone Kimi has intensified to a category 2 system as it continues to hover off the North Queensland coast.
It was estimated to be 165km north of Townsville at 4pm today (January 18) and moving south-southeast at 14km per hour.
The warning zone stretches from Innisfail to Ayr, with a cyclone watch for Ayr to Bowen.
The Bureau of Meteorology said cyclone Kimi was expected to continue on a south-southeastwards movement tonight and become slow moving on Tuesday, off the coast between Hinchinbrook Island and Townsville.
The cyclone is expected to begin weakening as it stalls on Tuesday, with the remnants of the system expected to begin tracking northwards as a weak tropical low.
However the bureau cautioned that the system’s movement had been erratic and considerable uncertainty remained with the forecast movement.
A coastal crossing between Hinchinbrook Island and Townsville tonight or on Tuesday remained a possibility, it said.
Destructive winds with gusts to 150 km/h may develop about coastal and island areas between Hinchinbrook Island and Ayr overnight tonight or on Tuesday, depending on the movement of the cyclone.
Heavy rainfall with the potential to produce flash flooding and major river flooding is expected to affect coastal and adjacent inland areas between Innisfail and Bowen tonight and on Tuesday.
The Burdekin Local Disaster Management Group has moved to ‘Stand up’ status as the cyclone continues to track in a southerly direction.
LDMG Chair Lyn McLaughlin encouraged residents to begin planning now and consider what action they would need to take if the cyclone threat increased.
“The threat of a tropical cyclone this time of year is not new for Burdekin residents,” Cr McLaughlin said.
“It’s time for everyone to get ‘cyclone ready’ by ensuring they have fresh water and food available for up to three days and having spare batteries available. Residents should also secure loose objects in their yard to prevent them becoming projectiles.”
For emergency assistance, residents should call the Queensland State Emergency Service (SES) on 132 500 (for assistance with storm damage, rising flood water, fallen trees on buildings or roof damage).
Further information can be found on Council’s Disaster Dashboard – visit disaster.burdekin.qld.gov.au