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Cyclone Predicted to Bring Heavy Rainfall as it Approaches Australian Coast

We’re anticipating widespread flooding through the weekend, going into early next week.

The first sign of Tropical Cyclone Kirrily is forecast for Jan. 24 as north Queensland braces for impact.

Winds of 120km/h are predicted for the Whitsunday Islands and coastal areas between Townsville and St Lawrence as the cyclone heads toward the coast.

An escalating tropical low over the Coral Sea had been due to become Cyclone Kirrily early on Wednesday morning.

It was initially predicted to hit the coast between Cardwell and Airlie Beach on Thursday night as a category 3 system.

But the Bureau of Meteorology says the system has slowed and could cross the coast as a category 2 between Townsville and Ayr on Thursday night or early on Friday morning.

It is still set to bring destructive winds and “life-threatening” flash flooding.

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There is a cyclone warning current between Ayr and Mackay.

“It’s likely to …bring its most intense impacts of rain, destructive winds and dangerous marine conditions in the form of storm tides and large waves with this system as it moves across the coast,” meteorologist Miriam Bradbury said.

Once Cyclone Kirrily crosses the coast, Queensland could be impacted by flooding for days.

The system is expected to weaken into a tropical low once more, moving further inland and south.

It is set to bring heavy rainfall to central, western and southern Queensland from Jan. 26.

“This low, even though it won’t be a tropical cyclone at that stage, will be continuing to generate severe weather,” Ms. Bradbury said.

“We’re anticipating widespread flooding through the weekend, going into early next week.”

It is the second cyclone in barely a month to threaten Queensland.

Cyclone Jasper caused record flooding that devastated the far north in mid-December before seven people died in storm-related incidents over Christmas in the southeast.

Fatigued emergency crews are set to receive interstate and Australian Defence Force support after the massive recovery effort that followed Jasper and the southeast storms.

About 500 hectares of the Gold Coast’s forests sustained severe damage while the clean-up continues on the tourist strip, with more than 21,000 tonnes of green waste removed since Boxing Day.

“So far they have cleaned up 570 streets and 215km of roads,” Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said.

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