Far north on wild weather alert as cyclone approaches

As the weather system continued to develop over the Gulf of Carpentaria, RACQ warned residents to brace for a potential cyclone and more widespread rainfall.

RACQ spokesperson Clare Hunter said the system was predicted to form into a tropical cyclone by Tuesday and would dump heavy rain across much of north Queensland.

“With a potential cyclone developing and heavy rain set to continue, conditions will change rapidly in the far north, so residents need to stay across the latest updates and prepare their properties for the storm,” Ms Hunter said.

“The system can impact road conditions in an instant, so we’re urging motorists to stay safe and think smart, delay travel, and never to drive though floodwaters.

Ms Hunter urged drivers to avoid any unnecessary travel.

“New Year’s Day is shaping up to be a good day to stay home and enjoy the company of family and friends,” she said.

“If you absolutely must travel, be sure to check our Road Conditions website before setting off – and if you come across a flooded road, don’t attempt to drive through it.”

Residents were warned to prepare their homes for the system while they had time and take the following precautions:

• Bring any outdoor furniture inside and unplug electrical appliances around the house

• If you can’t park your car undercover, use a thick blanket to protect the windscreen, roof and bonnet and move it away from trees

• Check the contents of your emergency kit. It should contain things like a torch and spare batteries, a battery powered radio, enough food and water to last a few days, spare clothes and daily essentials, like prescription medication, baby formula, nappies and dog food

• Talk to your family about your emergency plan and where your emergency kit is stored; and have a set place inside the home and outside the home (in case of evacuation) to gather.