Residents told to wait for help

While parts of Central Queensland remain in lockdown as Cyclone Debbie strikes, residents are being warned emergency service personnel won’t be able to respond to calls for help until Wednesday as they too wait out the storm.

Strong winds and heavy rainfall are expected to continue for hours to come, despite the system being downgraded to a category 3. It may take as many as 18 hours to clear affected areas.

All residents are being advised to stay indoors, in a secure location, until the storm passes – and that includes emergency service workers and disaster recovery volunteers.

Northern region SES manager Daryl Camp has also warned poor light would hamper any clean-up efforts should they begin tonight.

RACQ has praised locals for heeding warnings to stay off the roads during the cyclone, having received no calls for Roadside Assistance to date.

RACQ’s Lauren Ritchie said drivers shouldn’t get back onto the road until being given the all clear by authorities.

“The danger is not over yet. There is going to be significant rainfall in coming days as the cyclone continues to move further south which is likely to lead to more flooding and damage to homes.”