5:40 am - Wednesday July 24, 2024

Tropical Cyclone Marcia: Central Queensland towns devastated as storm tracks across state

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Cyclone Marcia is leaving a trail of destruction along central Queensland as it slowly tracks south over land.

A category five system made landfall north of Yeppoon about 8:00am and hit Rockhampton this afternoon as a category three, lashing the town of 80,000 people with gusts up to 205 kilometres an hour.

The system was downgraded to a category two about 5:00pm and is about 60 kilometres away from Biloela.

There were reports of extensive damage – houses destroyed or unroofed – but authorities said it was still too early and too dangerous to assess the full damage.

So far there has been no loss of life and the army has been called on to help assess the damage on Saturday morning.Bungundarra local Brett, whose property overlooks the Byfield National Park north of Yeppoon, watched scores of trees uproot during the thick of the storm.

The roof was ripped off his shed and his neighbour’s shed suffered the same fate.

Brett’s fences on his farm were also flattened and his cows now roam freely through the sodden ground.

“The forest is absolute devastation, millions and millions dollars worth damage,” he said.

“The trees are gone, flattened.Two staff members of the Yeppoon Hotel had to be rescued from an elevator when power was cut.

Fay Brewer and Vikki Smith were stuck for about half an hour before several men used a car jack to wedge open the doors.

Yeppoon resident Peter Lowe felt the top storey of his house shake as cyclone Marcia approached.

He bunkered down with his wife and two daughters playing monopoly.

“We had windows sort of flexing in around the house; a lot of rain,” he said.

Yeppoon local business owner Alan Coucom said debris scattered everywhere.

“We’ve seen signs, we’ve seen roofs, iron flying down the street, awnings going off buildings, there’s big pine trees that are down,” he said.

“There’s powerlines down. We can see there’s just two or three powerlines just flapping in the breeze here.”

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