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Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said residents in low-lying suburbs should be taking precautions, with the cyclone expected to generate a large storm surge on top of the normal high tide level and torrential rain.
He urged people to avoid being on the roads, and for parents to keep children away from floodwater. “No boogie boarding. (It’s) so easy to get sucked into a drain and off to the creek system,” he said.
Prepare for a Cat 5 media frenzy
Moreton Bay Regional Council advises the Dale Street flood gauge at Burpengary has now reached 8.2m and is continuing to rise.
The storm surge, which was initially predicted to be 2.6 metres above the high tide is now forecast to be 3m.
10.15am: The latest bureau warning has Tropical Cyclone Marcia moving at 21km/h with the centre of the storm just 50km north northwest of Yeppoon. The cyclone’s eye is also 145km north northwest of Gladstone and remains a Category 5 storm. Winds at the centre of the storm are 205km/h with wind gusts of 285 km/h.
10.10am: Friday night’s A-League clash between Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory in Brisbane has been postponed due to safety concerns surrounding Tropical Cyclone Marcia. The decision was made by Football Federation Australia, which acted after advice from the Queensland Government and the Queensland Police and consultation with authorities in Queensland, both teams and stadium management.
10.40am: There are 10,000 houses and businesses in Yeppoon without power. Ergon Energy said it’s too early to know when the power will be back on and crews will only assess damage when it is safe to do so.
10.30am: Cyclone Marcia’s force is being unleashed on the central Queensland town of Yeppoon, where roofs are beginning to peel off. Winds of at least 200km/h are starting to do real damage in the town of 16,000, with the category five storm also unleashing gusts as strong as 285km/h.
“I’ve just seen the surf club roof fly off and the paint at the face of our building here, you can see that’s all just bubbling and flying off,” she said. “It’s just a mad storm.”
Birds caught up in the tempest and battling to get to safety could be seen being propelled backwards, despite the frantic pumping of their wings.