Queensland Sees Sharks, Floods Brought by Cyclone Debbie

All schools in southeast Queensland were closed on Thursday and Friday as the storm continued its journey south.

Stranded residents climbed onto roofs of flooded homes to await rescuing, but fast-moving water and high winds hindered emergency crews reaching some people.

Further south in Lismore, the State Emergency Service said the situation was "very, very serious" as the levee created to protect the city cracked and was breached by floodwaters about 4am on Friday.

Will the prospect of being eaten by a shark actually keep any stupid people out of the flood water?

"So it nearly turns what you would think about a coral reef into this unusual wasteland underwater".

A drunk Australian man who drove his partner and young children into flood waters near Brisbane tried to flee after calling police to say his family needed help.

There was chaos in the state's southwest when nearly 500mm of rain fell in 24 hours yesterday about the Gold Coast, which was also buffeted by destructive 125kh/h wind gusts.

(By definition, a "cyclone" is a storm in which the maximum sustained surface wind speed ranges from 39 to 73 miles per hour.) There's little doubt that Debbie, labeled as category 5 - having the potential for catastrophic damage - was a very strong storm indeed.

Still, as we can see from the map below, Ayr isn't terribly close to the Burdekin river, and it's also not too far from the coast.

Meanwhile, Geoffrey Saville, a member of Willis Towers Watson's Analytics Technology Team and the Willis Research Network (WRN), said yesterday that compared to 2011's cyclone Yasi which caused a $1.4 billion industry loss, "Debbie is likely to be higher than this amount".

Australian emergency officials warned residents not to play in floodwaters after Cyclone Debbie hit the Queensland coast.

One of the most powerful cyclones ever to hit Queensland devastated a large swathe of the coastline on Tuesday and caused further damage as it moved inland.

Authorities said water ran low on Daydream Island after the storm cut off mains supply and bottled supplies dwindled.

Farmer Peter Hannigan, whose property is just north of Lismore, said the deluge was the worst he had ever seen in more than 50 years in the area.

  • Leroy Wright