By Fiona Connor For Daily Mail Australia
12 March 2018
Weather system approaching Queensland has increased chances of cyclone
The Bureau of Meteorology is closely monitoring the system in the Coral Sea
There is a 20 to 50 per cent likelihood the system may develop into a cyclone
Queensland residents are on alert for a cyclone after the threat increased to a 50 per cent chance as the state recovers from catastrophic flooding.
Wind gusts reaching strengths of up to 90kmh, rising sea waters and beach front erosion is predicted as the wild weather continues.
A low pressure system expected to move south over the coming week has increased chances of a cyclone developing on Tuesday by up to 50 per cent.
The Bureau of Meteorology is closely monitoring the system which is currently sitting around the Soloman Islands in the Coral Sea.
Forecasters predict there is a 20 to 50 per cent likelihood that the system may develop into a cyclone off the coast of Queensland, bringing strong winds and big waves to the southwest.
A low pressure system approaching Queensland has increased chances of a cyclone
By the time it closes in on the coast on Thursday, forecaster Rick Threlfal doubts a cyclone will form but it could encourage harsh marine conditions.
He said it was too early to accurately decipher where the system would land.
Destruction left in the wake of catastrophic flooding has started being cleaned up across Queensland.
Forecaster Michelle Berry told ABC radio on Monday southern Queensland beaches may be impacted even if the cyclone did not hit.
‘We’re not really expecting it to come to the coast, at this point, as a tropical cyclone … but there might still be some impacts, particularly in the sense of dangerous surf for our southern Queensland beaches.’
The Bureau of Meteorology says more rain is expected in coming days.
More than 700mm of rain fell in a number of catchment areas in four days, with The Boulders, south of Cairns, receiving 1009mm in the seven days to 9am on Saturday.
The Queensland government is already expecting a hefty damages bill from flooding in the state’s north, where police are patrolling affected homes to protect them from looters.
Pictured: Children play in flood waters in Ingham in North Queensland on Sunday
Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford says damage to infrastructure, particularly the road network, will amount to many millions of dollars.
‘We’re expecting to see some significant damage to roads, to bridges, washouts, culverts those sorts of things,’ he’s told ABC radio.
Authorities are also monitoring sewage and water supply systems.
Floodwaters are finally dropping at Ingham, north of Townsville, were 90 per cent of properties were in some way affected by the tide of brown water that cut the town in two.
Police in flood-hit parts of the north are carrying out additional patrols to guard against opportunistic criminals.
The Bureau of Meteorology says more rain is expected in coming days
mergency Services Minister Craig Crawford says damage to infrastructure, particularly the road network, will amount to many millions of dollars
‘Patrols will be conducted in an attempt to prevent any person from looting or whatever,’ Senior Sergeant Joe Mathieson told the ABC.
State disaster coordinator, Deputy Commissioner Bob Gee, said at least a third of Queensland’s local government areas had been affected by flooding.
And with more rain forecast, he warned the disaster was not over yet.
Seven state schools, five Catholic and independent schools, and seven daycare centres remain closed in flood affected communities.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk travelled to the region on Sunday to assess the damage, after a disaster declaration was made for communities from Cairns south to Townsville,
‘I don’t think people in the southeast realise how much impact this flood has had on this region and the surrounding communities,’ Ms Palaszczuk told reporters.
The state government will open up disaster funding for people and councils directly affected by the flood waters.