RAINBOW BEACH: 120km/h winds, widespread erosion predicted

 

UPDATE 1.30pm: 

The current alert area for dangerous surf in Queensland.
The current alert area for dangerous surf in Queensland. Contributed

The Sunshine Coast Council has issued a warning for potential storm surges across the region later tonight, with strong winds, rain and powerful tides already slamming a wide stretch of Queensland coastline. 

Local Disaster Management Group member Andrew Ryan says residents should best prepare for the event of a storm surge.

"Gusts of up to 120km/h are expected to affect the coast, and we'll have a possible storm surge of 400mm around 10pm tonight, so localised tidal inundation is possible," he says. 

FULL FREE GT WEATHER COVERAGE:

Residents in coastal areas are being asked to keep vigilant and stay tuned to any updates on the weather situation.

 

EARLIER:

RESIDENTS living on the Cooloola Coast, including Tin Can Bay, Rainbow Beach, Inskip Point are being urged to stay indoors with severe winds, heavy rain and dangerous surf conditions expected as the destructive remnants of ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie pass over the region. 

In a press conference held earlier today, Gympie Mayor Mick Curran said damaging winds with gusts of up to and over 120km/h could be expected on the stretch of coast between Fraser Island and the Sunshine Coast region. 

RELATED: Rainfall could go up to 400mm

"Certainly at this stage, we're expecting winds between 90km and 125km/h this afternoon," he says.

"We're asking residents to secure their vehicles undercover - don't take refuge under trees and to put away loose items in their yards." 

Surf conditions are likely to remain perilous, with the Department of National Parks, Sport and Racing issuing severe weather warnings for the Cooloola Recreation Area and Inskip Peninsula. 

Wild winds at Rainbow Beach.
Wild winds at Rainbow Beach. Arthur Gorrie

"The combination of large swells and high tides is likely to cause beach erosion," the warning reads.

"Beach conditions are expected to continually change and may deteriorate making some ections of the beach unsuitable for driving." 

Motorists and visitors are being asked to be aware of hazards including sand depressions, washouts, fallen trees, exposed rocks and debris. 

Campers along the stretch of coast are being being urged to regularly check weather forecasts and conditions when making the decision to stay or depart.

"People need to be aware that roads departing camping areas may become flooded and that during strong winds, the risk of falling trees can be significant."  

Shark control nets and equipment in South East Queensland has been removed due to the dangerous conditions. 

Fisheries Queensland has issued an alert that all shark nets have been removed from Rainbow Beach.

More as this story develops. 

Gympie Times


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