Cyclone Dylan breaks highest tide records
CYCLONE Dylan broke all known records for storm tides at Shute Harbour and Bowen according to data received from the Queensland Government’s department of science, information technology, innovation and the arts.
Whitsunday mayor Jennifer Whitney said this was a sobering reminder for residents to be prepared for storm surge threats and know the storm surge zones they lived in
“The Whitsunday region dodged a bullet with Cyclone Dylan - had the cyclone crossed the coast later in the morning, as originally predicted, there would have been much more damage and inundation due to storm surge [and the king tide],” Cr Whitney said.
During Cyclone Dylan’s approach, Shute Harbour recorded its highest tide level of 4.835m. This beat the previous highest record of 4.63m, recorded during Cyclone Justin, in March 1997.
Bowen’s highest recorded tide during Cyclone Dylan was 4.157m - a fraction above the previous highest tide of 4.1m, recorded in April 1989.
Cr Whitney said Cyclone Dylan resulted in three consecutive days of sea level rises above the Highest Astronomical Tide (HAT) level, with levels peaking on Thursday, January 30, before the cyclone crossed the coast.
Storm tide monitoring began in the Whitsundays in the 1970’s, with stations installed at Shute Harbour in July 1976 and Bowen in March 1975.
Cr Whitney reminded local residents that storm surge inundation maps were included in the Emergency Action Guide recently sent to every household in the Whitsunday region. The guides are also available for viewing at all Council libraries and offices and online at www.www.whitsundayrc.qld.gov.au, under the ‘Disaster’ tab.
KEEP BACK: Police kept members of the public away from the foreshore at Cannonvale Beach, where waves crashed over the fence. Photo Sharon Smallwood / Whitsunday Times