The Townsville Local Disaster Management Group (TLDMG) has moved to ‘stand up’ as a slow-moving tropical low closes in on the North Queensland coast.

The weather system is yet to be named a tropical cyclone but is expected to bring heavy rain and strong winds as it moves towards the coast later today (Wednesday 24 January).

TLDMG Chair Jenny Hill said the decision to move to stand up was made this morning, to ensure the community has adequate time to prepare.

“Even though we are yet to see a cyclone form, we want to give the community confidence the TLDMG has considered all likely scenarios and have appropriate responses in place,” Cr Hill said. “Anyone not comfortable in their homes should take steps to relocate to a friend or family member’s home, if possible. Residents of Cungulla, Saunders Beach and Gumlow should prepare for isolation. Residents who are not prepared for isolation should leave and seek shelter with friends or family. Evacuation centres at Heatley Public Cyclone Shelter and the Wills Street Evacuation Centre will be open from 1pm today,” Cr Hill said

Cr Hill said residents who don’t feel safe in their homes need to consider their self-evacuation plans now.

The TLDMG is encouraging residents to ensure their homes are secured and safe and that they have provisions to stay in their homes safely for up to 48 hours.

“Now is the time to get your prescriptions filled if you need medicine, check you have enough food, batteries and cash in case you can’t leave your house for a few days,” Cr Hill said.

Current modelling indicates there is unlikely to be any inundation from storm surge, but residents need to remain vigilant regarding possible coastal erosion.

Sand and SES supplied bags are available at seven sites across the city:

  • Ross Dam car park, Upper Ross, behind the Parks compound
  • Lou Litster Park, behind Officeworks at Hermit Park
  • The carpark at the Local Disaster Coordination Centre Dalrymple Road Depot
  • Corner of Bruce Highway & Mt Low Parkway
  • Bluewater SES Depot
  • Rupertswood Rural Fire Shed (14 Progress Rd, Alice River)
  • Cungulla Community Centre

Filled sandbags will be available at the Dalrymple Road Depot site and delivered to the Cungulla Community Centre.

For the latest information and instructions head to Townsville City Council’s Emergency Management and Disaster Dashboard, listen to local radio or phone 13 48 10.