WINDS OF CHANGE

Trop­i­cal Cy­clone Deb­bie leaves trail of de­struc­tion across re­gion

Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE -

The last thing we also want is any per­son who takes ad­van­tage of the sit­u­a­tion... — Com­mis­sioner Ian Ste­wart

QUEENS­LAND Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Ian Ste­wart has warned res­i­dents in towns im­pacted by Trop­i­cal Cy­clone Deb­bie to stay in­side and watch out for loot­ers.

Com­mis­sioner Ste­wart made the re­marks at a me­dia con­fer­ence with Pre­mier An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk on Tues­day.

“There’s some other very key mes­sages that need to be ad­hered to and that is as the dan­ger passes com­pletely – and that will hap­pen for most places overnight, and into tomorrow morn­ing – we need peo­ple, if they pos­si­bly can, to stay off the roads be­cause emer­gency ser­vice ve­hi­cles and per­son­nel will need to be go­ing into all ar­eas as quickly as pos­si­ble,” Com­mis­sioner Ste­wart said.

“Please take note: if you don’t need to go out, don’t.”

Com­mis­sioner Ste­wart also warned of loot­ing.

“There will be lots of per­son­nel com­ing in to the dam­aged ar­eas to do risk as­sess­ment,” he said.

“I’d ask peo­ple to keep note of those in­di­vid­u­als.

“The last thing we also want is any per­son who takes ad­van­tage of the sit­u­a­tion for loot­ing pur­poses.

“And we ask, if you see some­one who you sus­pect, please take pho­tos and pro­vide them to po­lice im­me­di­ately.”

A flood warn­ing has been is­sued for most of the Queens­land coast – all the way from north of Mackay down to the New South Wales bor­der.

The cy­clone is fore­cast to track in­land, bring­ing rain to re­gions around Emer­ald be­fore turn­ing back to­wards the the east and hit­ting the Fraser and Sun­shine coasts on the week­end.

Hamil­ton Is­land was the

first ma­jor vic­tim of Cy­clone Deb­bie as it smashed the Queens­land coast.

Images of the tourist haven started to sur­face on so­cial me­dia af­ter mon­strous winds tore through the Whit­sun­days.

Weatherzone re­ported the is­land reg­is­tered a wind gust of 263kmh ear­lier this week.

One Hamil­ton Is­land hol­i­day­maker de­scribed Cy­clone Deb­bie as like “bloody may­hem”.

“The roar was so loud, wind was phe­nom­e­nal, all

the win­dows rat­tled and shook vi­o­lently,” Mat Gar­ner said.

He and his fam­ily were still in lock­down yes­ter­day af­ter­noon in their hol­i­day house in the north-east­ern corner of the is­land.

“There are houses with roofs ripped off, glass pan­els smashed, gut­ter­ing miss­ing, trees up­rooted, golf bug­gies shredded,” he said.

“I haven’t got down the ma­rina front yet and I have to go check my un­cle’s house next door once the winds go down a bit.”

PHO­TOS: PETER CAR­RUTHERS

PHOTO: ALIX SWEENEY

WORSE FOR WEAR: Stripped of most of its feath­ers, a dazed cock­a­too at Air­lie Beach.

PHOTO: AAP

WOR­RIED: Queens­land Pre­mier An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk.

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