BOM satellite image of Cyclone Penny off the coast of QLD
BOM satellite image of Cyclone Penny off the coast of QLD

Penny’s one-two blows still a threat

EX-CYCLONE Penny was last night bearing down on Weipa, lashing the remote town with heavy rain and winds of up to 110km/hr.

And forecasters are predicting more wild weather to come, with Penny expected to move out to sea before gathering strength to come back with a vengeance as a Category 2 system.

The centre of Tropical Cyclone Penny made landfall on the coast between Weipa and Thud Point as a category one system just before 4pm yesterday.

Ex-tropical cyclone Penny track map issued at 7.45pm Tuesday.
Ex-tropical cyclone Penny track map issued at 7.45pm Tuesday.

Ex-tropical cyclone Penny is expected to continue moving eastwards across Cape

York Peninsula tonight before moving into the northwest Coral Sea early

Wednesday morning. Penny is now rated as a high chance of reforming into a

tropical cyclone in the northwest Coral Sea during Wednesday, but by this

stage, the system should be offshore of the Queensland east coast.

 

Cyclone damge in the town of Weipa. Picture: Joe Grace
Cyclone damge in the town of Weipa. Picture: Joe Grace

 

Although Penny is no longer a tropical cyclone, heavy rain, damaging winds and

elevated tides are still a risk across far north Queensland tonight and into

Wednesday.

A Flood Watch remains current for coastal catchments north of Cardwell, including catchments across the Cape York Peninsula.

 

 

As locals braced for the worst, Weipa Town Authority chairman Michael Rowland said all mining operations had ceased and Qantas had announced all flights in and out of the town had been cancelled.

"I think everybody is on alert and aware and has made sure everything is as secure as possible and we emergency backups are in place," he said.

Regional harbourmaster captain Michael Barnett yesterday issued a red alert for the Ports of Weipa and Amrun and Skardon River.

The port of Weipa and Amrun was closed to normal movement and only emergency movement was permitted.

TC Penny, which made landfall as a Category 1 system, is expected to head out to Coral Sea and reform into a Category 2 cyclone before once again, turning back, towards the Queensland coast.

It is expected to hit the coast again early next week.

 

Cyclone damge in the town of Weipa. Picture: Joe Grace
Cyclone damge in the town of Weipa. Picture: Joe Grace

 

"At the moment we forecast it to stay out at the Coral Sea for quite a while and move east but as the weekend comes closer there is high uncertainty particularly around steering influences and whether it will come back to impact the peninsula," a Bureau of Meteorology spokesman said.

Heavy rainfall and flash flooding is expected across the Cape York Peninsula and parts of the north tropical coast today as the system moves eastwards.

"It (has) already impacted Weipa with heavy rainfall however should ease off by Wednesday," the BoM spokesman said.

The winds of Tropical Cyclone Penny have felled trees in the Far North Queensland mining town of Weipa.
The winds of Tropical Cyclone Penny have felled trees in the Far North Queensland mining town of Weipa.

"By 1am Wednesday morning it is expected to drop back to a tropical low and will head back out to sea."

As of yesterday afternoon, the Western Cape York Peninsula coast between Cape York and Cape Keerweer and adjacent inland areas experienced wind gusts of up to 110km per hour.

Emergency services yesterday issued an urgent plea to people in the affected areas there may be flash flooding with a Flood Watch current for coast catchments north of Cardwell.

 

A tree felled by the winds of Tropical Cyclone Penny lies in a Weipa Street.
A tree felled by the winds of Tropical Cyclone Penny lies in a Weipa Street.


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