Tropical cyclone Debbie has been upgraded to a Category 4 as North Queensland residents prepare for it to cross the coast.
In typical cyclone style, Debbie has been wavering, threatening to cross, backtracking, then moving in again; all the while intensifying. BOM originally expected her to cross over the weekend as a Category 3. However, the extra time it’s taken Debbie to close in on the coastline has seen her upgrade to a severe Category 4.
BOM is now expecting the storm to cross early Tuesday afternoon, with the eye passing just south of Bowen.
— BOM Queensland (@BOM_Qld) March 27, 2017
Of course, as we’ve already seen, cyclones are unpredictable by nature so residents from Lucinda to St Lawrence are urged to take precautions for extreme weather conditions and follow the latest advice from BOM and the emergency services.
Despite Debbie’s size and reach, many towns within the warning area are yet to see much of an effect. However, Hamilton Island has been buffeted and conditions are intensifying in Bowen.
Farmers in the north face concerns not just for their loved ones but for their livelihoods. Heavy wind and rain can destroy crops, creating millions of dollars worth of damage.
However, with most of Queensland in drought declared conditions, it is hoped Debbie will bring much needed rain to our farmers with minimal destruction.
For storm and flood assistance, residents can contact the SES on 132 500. For life-threatening emergencies, the number to call is still 000.