King tide flooding receding in CairnsFriday January 31, 2014 - 14:40 EDT
Minor flooding is receding after the highest tide of the year in Cairns this morning.
The region has been largely spared the impact of Tropical Cyclone Dylan, which made landfall between Bowen and Airlie Beach about 3:30am (AEST) today as a category two system and has now been downgraded to a tropical low.
Businesses along the marina and esplanade were not taking any chances this morning, sandbagging and, in one case, siphoning water back into Trinity Inlet.
The tide peaked at 3.78 metres, 30 centimetres higher than forecast.
Tour guide Jihong Wea says most commercial boats are making their first trip to the Great Barrier Reef this week, laden with tourists visiting for Chinese New Year.
Jack Finlayson from Dubbo says his trip was cut short.
"It was too rough so they couldn't get up to the pontoon," he said.
Traffic control will remain in place in parts of the CBD and industrial area until the water subsides.
Authorities in Cairns are appealing to motorists and pedestrians to use common sense.
'Far north Queensland open for business'
Meanwhile, Assistant Tourism Minister Gavin King says now the cyclone and storm surge threat has passed, it is important residents send a message to potential visitors.
"I'm putting out a call, I'll be doing it today, our Facebook, our Twitter feeds, take a picture of the blue sky, take a picture of the beautiful water, take a picture of a reef boat leaving the marina because we need to get the message out right now, not tomorrow, not next week, right now, that Cairns, all of far north Queensland in particular, is open for business," he said.
The beach at Green Island has reopened this morning but all other beaches between Port Douglas and Mission Beach remain closed.
Surf Life Saving Queensland says there is a very high stinger risk.
Stinger nets have been removed due to recent weather conditions.
© ABC 2014
More breaking news
There have been a few hiccups along the way but the school garden at St Francis' Primary School in Hughenden continues to grow despite the on-going drought.
Agriculture Minister Joyce defends White Paper's drought loans, R&D spend and lack of inland rail plan
Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce says he is sympathetic to the concerns of drought-affected farmers about concessional loans, but has made no commitment to change the controversial schemes any time soon.
Federal Government efforts to entice grain growers into insuring against disasters have failed to impress farmers.