Marcia’s devastation from the air

Written By komlim puldel on Sabtu, 21 Februari 2015 | 20.01

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says now

A damaged house remains standing after Tropical Cyclone Marcia hit the coastal town of Yeppoon. Source: AFP

* Cyclone Marcia has been downgraded to a tropical low but many residents endured a damp and dark night with thousands left without electricity.

* Power is expected to be cut for several days and emergency services are calling on residents to use water only when absolutely necessary.

* The severe tropical cyclone made landfall as a category 5 cyclone and has left a trail of destruction over Yeppoon and Rockhampton.

*The cyclone was at category 5 when it grazed Yeppoon battering the coastal town with 285km/h winds. It was downgraded to category 3 when it hit Rockhampton in the afternoon.

* Marcia's destructive core with gusts to 155km/h continued southward towards Biloela.

* In the Northern Territory, Cyclone Lam made landfall as a category 4 system and has now been downgraded to a tropical low.

AS IT HAPPENED: CYCLONE MARCIA ATTACKS

THE clean-up is beginning across Queensland in the wake of Cyclone Marcia. And boy, is there a lot of work to do.

Making matters worse is the news that looting has followed the cyclone's path of destruction.

Flooding hit the Biloela area. Pic Peter Wallis Source: News Corp Australia

Two boys aged 14 and 16 and a young man aged 17 have been charged after allegedly breaking into a Yeppoon bottleshop overnight, The Courier Mail have reported.

Police allege that officers patroling the streets found the three males in possession of 11 bottles of alcohol, allegedly obtained from a bottleshop on Rockhampton Rd in Yeppoon.

All three have been charged with one count of entering a premise to commit an indictable offence, while the 14-year-old was also charged with stealing.

Additional police resources have been brought into Yeppoon and Rockhampton for security reasons following the cyclone. Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk also announced earleir today that army troops were on their way to Rockhampton and Yeppoon to begin the clean-up effort.

"Once again I ask the communities to please be patient with us," Ms Palaszczuk told media this afternoon.

"The Ergon crews are out there and working as hard as they possibly can - already they've cleared the dangerous power lines from the streets but now the real work is to restore that power and over the coming days and weeks power will be restored - but patience is needed.

"We've been in contact with the (Australian Defence Force) and a deployment will be coming from Townsville to the area where troops will be distributed between Rockhampton and Yeppoon," the Premier said.

These photos, taken by The Courier-Mail, show the extent of the devastation.

The town of Jambin, which has suffered bad flooding. Pic Peter Wallis Source: News Corp Australia

Flooding in the Biloela area. Pic Peter Wallis Source: News Corp Australia

That's a lonely tractor. Pic Peter Wallis Source: News Corp Australia

Another photo from the Biloela area. Pic Peter Wallis Source: News Corp Australia

Meawhile, a new weather threat is emerging.

The weather bureau has issued warnings for severe thunderstorms from Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast while another thunderstorm developed near Caloundra.

There has already been one waterspout seen on the Sunshine Coast and more were likely throughout southeast Queensland later today.

Residents of Brisbane and the Gold Coast have been bracing for more bad weather today with winds as high as 90km/h possible and heavy rain.

The brollies are out in Brisbane. Pic Mark Calleja Source: News Corp Australia

Late this morning, the weather bureau revised down the amount of rainfall expected in the southeast from 300mm to 125mm.

The rain warnings stretch as far south as the north coast of NSW, where there is a chance of flash flooding.

More than 60 SES teams remain on standby and are handing out sandbags with further rain and damaging winds expected to hit mid north-coast today, Sky News reported.

At least 60,000 homes are without power.

Debris from homes is scattered along the streets of Gladstone. Photo: Natalia Muszkat Source: Supplied

There are flood fears as the clean up from Cyclone Marcia continues. Source: News Corp Australia

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Matthew Bass told a press conference this morning that there was potential for water tornadoes in southeast Queensland.

There has already been one report of a waterspout on the Sunshine Coast.

"We could see a couple more of these events as this system moves south along the coast they will be very localised," Mr Bass said.

Several dams in Queensland were already overflowing however there were no fears the Wivenhoe Dam upstream of Brisbane would overflow.

On the Sunshine Coast, 42 people have been evacuated amid fears of flash flooding although authorities insist it is just a precautionary measure.

Winds could still reach 90km/h in southeast Queensland today — but that is far below what residents in central Queensland faced yesterday.

One Yeppoon resident told Sky News the damage was "like a bomb going off".

Winds ripped off roofs, blew out windows and sent large trees crashing through walls. Some homes in Yeppoon were completely destroyed.

Cyclone Marcia Destroyed houses in Yeppoon. Picture: Jack Tran Source: Supplied

A boy walks past a fence brought down by Tropical Cyclone Marcia along a road in Yeppoon. Source: AFP

Tony and Vicki Harris saw their neighbour's home on the corner of John and Vaughan streets in Yeppoon lift up and slam into their home, smashing apart the veranda.

A large section of the Harris's' roof was also torn off and rain soaked their lounge room.

"We heard all these bangs, the neighbour lost his roof and the next minute I could see the sky through mine," Mr Harris told the Courier Mail.

The local Mayor, Bill Ludwig, said the damage would be in the "multi-millions".

Today an army of volunteers were helping their friends and neighbours clean up in Yeppoon, which is without power.

Leanne Smith, whose daughter and two grandchildren, aged 7 and 11, were evacuated from their home, told AAP she couldn't believe what was left when she returned to survey the damage.

"I was actually really emotionally affected by it," Ms Smith said.

"It's just not something you can really explain to people, it's actually quite devastating."

A charity mobile laundry service, Orange Sky Laundry, also pulled up to help the family wash clothes for free.

Co-founder Lucas Patchett said the service, which usually helps homeless people, was also used in disaster situations.

"We drove around a bit, saw some news crews up here and thought it must be a badly affected area, so just turned up and offered to wash and dry people's clothes," he said

Two Queensland towns have been cut off after a "wall of water" from the first cyclone to hit in 40 years wrecked havoc.

Residents in northeastern NSW are bracing for heavy rains and flooding in the wake of Cyclone Marcia.

Residents of Biloela and the nearby village of Jambin are cut off this morning, with flood levels rising in the wake of Cyclone Marica.

Gates at Callide Dam opened Friday night and spilt a "wall of water" downstream to Jambin, causing urgent evacuations of outlying properties.

Banana Shire Mayor Ron Carige said: "I've never seen anything like it before."

Police have renewed their warning for motorists not to ignore road closure signs as they could be protecting travellers from washouts, craters and other hazards, and not to attempt to cross flooded roads, causeways or water courses.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said authorities would have a better picture of the impact today.

Clean up to begin after Queensland faced the full brunt of tropical Cyclone Marcia.

"We'll have helicopters in the area and also there is a request in with the Australian Defence Force and they will also be carrying out an assessment of the damage in the areas around Rockhampton and Yeppoon."

State Emergency Services Assistant Commissioner Peter Jeffrey warned about being complacent this morning.

"Don't be lulled into a false sense of security ... We need to be vigilant and prepared."

Mr Jeffrey said a full assessment of the damage would begin as crews moved into the worst damaged area, mainly around Yeppoon and Rockhampton.

There had already been 4500 calls to SES for help.

In Rockhampton though it appears people don't just have fuelling their cars on their minds.

Important sites and numbers

—Bureau of Meteorology website bom.gov.au for up to date weather information, including up-coming forecasts and warnings;

—The Traffic and Travel information line on 13 19 40 or http://www.131940.qld.gov.au

—RACQ road closure site on 1300 130 595 or —http://www.racq.com.au/travel/maps_and_Directions/road_conditions

—Monitor local councils and local radio stations for local information and updates

QPS facebook site at http://www.facebook.com/QueenslandPolice

—with AAP


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