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Tropical Cyclone Trevor continues across Far North Queensland as category one system

Wednesday March 20, 2019 - 19:39 EDT
ABC licensed image
The system made landfall as a category-three system south of Lockhart River. - ABC licensed
ABC licensed image
Trees blown down by cyclone Trevor damaged several properties in Lockhart River. - ABC licensed

Communities on the Gulf of Carpentaria are being warned destructive winds and heavy rain from cyclone Trevor are not over, with the system expected to move offshore and rapidly intensify again.

The cyclone came in from the Coral Sea to hit It has since wound down to a category one storm.

The entire communities of Lockhart River and Coen and half of Aurukun are without power.

Wind gusts of up to 133 kilometres per hour and falls of 300 millimetre over 24 hours have been recorded at Lockhart River, where trees, power poles and fences have been brought down.

Mayor Wayne Butcher said the wind was "ferocious and relentless" but there hadn't been any reports of injuries.

"It hammered us for hours," Councillor Butcher said.

The system is currently hovering near Aurukun, where Mayor Derek Walpo said they are well-prepared.

"We're just getting light winds, not very strong winds but enough to shake a tree," he said.

Second wind for cyclone Trevor

A cyclone warning was current on Wednesday evening from Pormpuraaw to Cape York, while a cyclone watch was underway from Nhulunbuy on the Northern Territory border to Pormpuraaw.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) said gales were expected to extend to areas between Cape York and Pormpuraaw on Wednesday night, including Aurukun and Weipa, as the cyclone moved offshore and intensified.

Meteorologist Lauren Pattie said it was due to intensify into a category two storm by Thursday morning and become a category four system by Friday.

It is due to make landfall again on Saturday in the Northern Territory.

People in Lockhart River took to Facebook on Wednesday to describe their wild night.

"Lots of destruction after a horrid night. 4:30pm to 2am of just getting absolutely smashed!" Hannah Brown said.

Lockhart River Arts Indigenous Corporation manager Enoch Perazim said cyclone Trevor was "furious".

"Rain sipping into my house through window latch and feels like the house is about to be lifted up on all sides but all good. House structure is solid, strong," he posted.

Weipa fishing guide Ben Bright said the town's port was closed and people just needed to wait it out.

"I just got a stew on in the slow cooker so hopefully the power doesn't go out, it's definitely good stew weather today."

Roper Gulf Regional Council in Northern Territory said residents in Numbulwar will start self evacuations on Wednesday ahead of the system making landfall on Saturday.

Queensland's Minister for Emergency Services Craig Crawford said there were reports some homes had lost their roofs at Lockhart River.

"But we haven't had time to get the damage teams out yet, " Mr Crawford said.

"It looks like the airport will be able to open today so that means we will be able to get the Ergon crews in and all the recovery teams from various departments."

Schools at Lockhart River, Weipa and Aurukun will remain closed today as well as some businesses.

All flights in and out of Weipa have been cancelled.

Rain for parched townships

Ms Pattie said it was possible the system could bring some showers to dry parts of southern Queensland over the coming days.

"We have a new upper trough coming through that may capture that system and bring it back towards the south west towards the southern part of Queensland," she said.

"It's a little too early to say how strong that system will be when it comes, however we are likely to see an increase in shower and storm activity for the southern part of Queensland.

"At this stage we aren't expecting any particularly significant rainfall totals but that area is quite dry at the moment and I'm sure any rainfall will be welcome."


© ABC 2019

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