Local News

Preparations underway as Cyclone Kimi intensifies

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Ferry services are being stopped, emergency services deployed and sand bags offered to North Queensland residents as Cyclone Kimi intensifies. 
 
The category two system is expected to continue to track south-southeast tonight before stalling and weakening off the coast between Hinchinbook Island and Townsville on Tuesday. 
 
At 2pm advice from the Bureau of Meteorology said the Cyclone Watch zone spanned from Ayr to Bowen. 
 
SeaLink will cease ferry services between Townsville and Magnetic Island late this afternoon and General Manager Chris Briggs says operations are likely to remain suspended tomorrow.
 
"It is likely with the impacts of the cyclone that there will be no services so people should plan accordingly and look to get their travel arrangements squared away today," Mr Briggs says. 
 
In Cairns, police say Telstra, Ergon and emergency service crews are being deployed to Tully, Innisfail, Cardwell and Ingham. 
 
Cairns District Disaster Management Group, Chair Mark Lingwood says preparations are underway for people receiving medical care. 
 
"Queensland Health are working with the vulnerable people in the community to make sure they're safe and if they're on say dialysis, they're moved to an area where they can receive that dialysis," Acting Superintendent Lingwood says. 
 
He's encouraging residents to secure their belongings, drive to the conditions and avoid water ways. 
 
Townsville residents can collect sand and bags from various locations including the council depot, Upper Ross PCYC and Bluewater Community Centre. 
 
The SES headquarters in Mission Beach, Cardwell, Tully and Innisfail have sand bags available for Cassowary Coast residents.