Hope Vale Mayor Greg McLean has backtracked over his earlier claim the far north Queensland town's emergency shelter was only built to withstand a category three cyclone.
More than 700 residents weathered Cyclone Ita in the facility on Friday night and councillor McLean has apologised for its leaking door and lack of ventilation.
He now says the State Government-funded structure was built to withstand a category five system.
"I've got to explain myself here why I said that it was a category three," he said.
"When we first built it, nobody wanted to say what category it was being built to.
"Along the way we adjusted to make it a category five, we couldn't call it a cyclone shelter, we had to give it a name that wasn't a cyclone shelter, so it was called a multi-purpose centre."
© ABC 2014
19:49 EST Authorities have sent emergency alerts to tens of thousands of people in NSW's Hunter region as forecasters warn wild weather will worsen after earlier claiming three lives.