Emergency services are preparing for more heavy rain to lash north Queensland coastal areas.There’s a high chance ex-Tropical Cyclone Iris will reform off the Queensland coast and dump more torrential rain on sodden communities in the state’s north.
The Bureau of Meteorology says heavy rain and winds gusting beyond 100km/h could affect coastal communities between Innisfail, just south of Cairns, and Proserpine, from Monday evening.
It says Iris has a high chance or reforming into a cyclone on Tuesday and while it’s not expected to cross the coast, communities in the warning zone are being told to prepare for wild weather.
“She has shown some pretty significant signs of development in the last 24 hours,” senior forecaster Diana Eadie has told ABC radio.
“We have increased the tropical cyclone likelihood from low to moderate for today, and to high on Tuesday.”
Coastal communities that have been drenched by wild weather over the past month, including the deluge brought by ex-cyclone Nora, are on alert for more of the same.
“Even if it doesn’t reach tropical cyclone strength, what we are seeing is an increase in rainfall and the potential for damaging winds … between about Innisfail and Proserpine really starting to pick up from this evening.”
Communities in the warning zone have been warned they could get 200-300mm of rain over the next 24 hours or so.
Locations which may be affected include Proserpine, Bowen, Townsville, Hamilton Island, Ingham and Innisfail.
A flood watch remains current for coastal catchments between Cairns and Rockhampton.
Rescue and flood response teams have already been sent to areas likely to be affected.
Ex-tropical cyclone Nora dumped over a metre of rain on the north and far north of the state over the past week, causing widespread flooding.
Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford says it’s important to be prepared given how saturated the ground is.
“With more heavy rain and strong winds around the corner, I know we will once again see QFES personnel right across Queensland step up to the job,” he said on Sunday.