CYCLONE Debbie has been downgraded to a tropical low, but forecasters say this brutal weather system is not done with us yet.

Widespread flooding and a month's worth of rain is expected to inundate parts of Central and South East Queensland, as well as northern New South Wales, as the tropical low makes a left turn and heads south.

As much as 250 millimetres of rain is tipped to fall in just 24 hours.

The heaviest rainfall is expected over Springsure to Yeppoon.

LATEST ON CYCLONE DEBBIE

As the system continues moving south it could bring major flooding to Ayr, and towns along the NSW border later in the week.

'SHOCK AND AWE': Debbie's devastation revealed

Damaging winds, with peak gusts of around 120km/h, continued in the region particularly about the coast and islands and also over higher ground inland. Currently the strongest wind gusts are affecting areas north of about Emerald to St Lawrence.

"There are families getting hammered by this," Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told a press conference this morning, urging cyclone-battered residents to be careful as they emerged from what was left of their homes to assess the extent of Debbie's wrath.

The cyclone, which crossed the Queensland coast as a Category 3 system yesterday afternoon, with wind gusts of more than 270km/h and 8-metre waves recorded, was downgraded to a tropical low about 3am today.

"Areas around the southeast coast, such as Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast, could see falls between 50mm to 150mm in the next four days," Weatherzone meteorologist Graeme Brittain told the Courier Mail.

"Damaging winds are also a possibility for this region, particularly coastal parts."

News Corp Australia

The federal government is on standby to help with the clean-up, with soldiers, helicopters and planes ready to mobilise as the full extent of Debbie's wrath reveals itself today.

CYCLONE DEBBIE: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

• Cyclone made landfall at Airlie Beach at 12.15pm Tuesday
• Winds up to 230km/hour smashed coast before it was downgraded to Category 1
• Residents advised to stay inside
• 'Idiot' slammed for attempting to surf
 

News Corp Australia


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