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BOM warns Tropical Cyclone Kimi due to make landfall in Far North Queensland tonight

The second cyclone of the season is expected to make landfall on Monday night, with residents from Cooktown to Lucinda warned of destructive winds, heavy rainfall, high tides and flash flooding.

Far North Queensland authorities say they are prepared for the second tropical cyclone to hit the state this summer, with Cyclone Kimi predicted to make landfall in the area around Cardwell this evening.

Key points:
  • A warning has been issued from Port Douglas to Lucinda
  • Destructive wind gusts up to 150 kilometres per hour are predicted
  • Residents have also been warned of heavy rainfall, abnormally high tides and flash flooding

On Sunday night, the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) said the cyclone, the second of the season, was sitting just east of Port Douglas as a category one system but was likely to become a category two before making landfall.

A warning has been issued for an area covering from Port Douglas to Lucinda.

The BOM said Cyclone Kimi would continue south-south-west and was expected to cross the coast between Innisfail and Lucinda.

Destructive wind gusts up to 150 kilometres per hour are predicted along with heavy rainfall, abnormally high tides and flash flooding.

Meteorologist Shane Kennedy said even if the cyclone did not intensify, it would still bring some significant impacts to the north tropical coast.

Rain is seen falling on the hillsideRain is seen falling on the hillside
Residents are being warned to prepare for destructive winds.(ABC News: Jemima Burt)

Mr Kennedy said there was a flood risk for Queensland's north, given the region was soaked by ex-Tropical Cyclone Imogen at the start of January.

"If it had been much drier in the past week or two then certainly that ground would have soaked up a lot more. Particularly around the Murray and the Herbert rivers … those areas are really primed," he said.

The cyclone is predicted to drop into a tropical low over Wednesday.

"Once it moves over land, we are expecting things to weaken … it likely won't be until Wednesday-on when things will really calm down."

Authorities urge people to prepare

Eleanor Rosam from the State Emergency Service (SES) said crews, including swiftwater rescue personnel, were on stand-by.

"Our largest concern is those areas between Cooktown and Cairns, so we've got crews on standby throughout that entire area. We have touched base with our crews on the Tablelands and the Cassowary Coast as well," she said.

"We are all working together in this kind of an event."

Eleanor Rosam smiles and looks into the camera as she stands in front of an SES crew member in a grey room.Eleanor Rosam smiles and looks into the camera as she stands in front of an SES crew member in a grey room.
Eleonor Rosam urged residents to check on neighbours and prepare their yards for destructive winds and heavy rainfall.(ABC News: Jemima Burt)

Ms Rosam urged Queenslanders in the Far North to get prepared before the worst of the weather hits and sets in on the coast.

"Look for any loose items in the garden, have a look at any low hanging branches around the house that can be easily taken down … go through your gutters, make sure they are all clear so that none of that floodwater backs up," she said.

"Have a look for candles, matches, batteries, torches and just put them all in one place."

Ms Rosam said it was important people check on their neighbours over the coming days.

Locals and tourists banding together

Douglas Shire Council Mayor Michael Kerr said residents and tourists were more than prepared.

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"Any locals who live here know what they need to do … we've gone through it many times before," he said.

"Even with the people that are staying in hotels, all of these buildings are designed to cope with up to category three."

Cr Kerr said council members and emergency services have been preparing the area since the announcement.

Sandbags have been available in the area since Saturday.

He said authorities were ready to launch evacuations if needed.

"We're hoping we won't need to evacuate people. The safest place for them is in their homes," he said.

"I certainly hope that when it hits land it fizzles out and just becomes a couple of breaths of wind and there's not that much damage and certainly no lives are at risk."

Narelle Massey, a resident of west Cairns, said locals were feeling prepared.

"A lot of us have been through it before and I think most people around are quite prepared … you just sort of think, 'Oh, wonder what tomorrow will bring?" she said.

"Everyone just knows what to do to keep safe.

"At this point in time, it's the calm before the storm."

Emergency Services urge those in Far North Queensland to continue preparations and to stay up to date with emergency instructions.

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