Prepare to shelter from Cyclone Kirrily now

Townsville residents should prepare to shelter in place as Tropical Cyclone Kirrily moves towards the Queensland coast.

This Category 2 cyclone will bring very strong winds and heavy rain to Townsville.

The intense cyclone is expected to cross the Townsville coast this evening. Residents are advised to prepare to shelter in place.

The Townsville Local Disaster Management Group is continuing to monitor Tropical Cyclone Kirrily and provide updates to the community.

Townsville Local Disaster Management Group (TLDMG) Chair Jenny Hill said the Bureau of Meteorology was predicting Tropical Cyclone Kirrily to continue strengthening to a Category 2 as it tracks towards the Queensland Coast.

“Townsville and surrounds should expect winds to start picking up from around lunch time and we advise people stay off the roads from 2pm today and shelter indoors until advised further,” Cr Hill said.

“The TLDMG will continue to monitor the situation closely and update the community with any relevant information.

“Townsville hasn’t felt the effects of a Tropical Cyclone since Yasi in 2011, so it is important all agencies in the TLDMG are working together to ensure we have an appropriate response.

“As the latest information becomes available we will be tailoring our response to meet the situation.”

Cr Hill asked residents to please stay safe by sheltering in place, and for those who didn’t feel comfortable staying in their homes to seek shelter with friends or relatives or alternatively at one of Council’s evacuation centres.

“Council currently has two evacuation centres open to the public – the Heatley Public Cyclone Shelter and the 143 Walker Street Car Park Place of Refuge with access via Wills Street,” Cr Hill said.

“Please if you are considering going to an evacuation centre make sure you only bring essential items with you like food, water and any important documentation or medication you may require.

“For those who are worried about their furry friends and don’t feel comfortable sheltering in their own homes the 143 Walker Street Car Park Place of Refuge is pet friendly. Pets must be restrained, preferably in a crate or animal carrier, and you must bring sufficient supplies, including a lead, collar or muzzle if required, food and water, any medication your pet may require and supplies to remove animal waste for the duration of your stay.

“Please stay off the roads, and if you have to drive, drive to the conditions. If it’s flooded, forget it.

“Parents should be keeping their children indoors and we urge them to make sure they refrain from playing in floodwaters, particularly around the city’s weirs after the event.”

/Public Release. View in full here.