Cyclone Ului a Category 1 Storm: 60,000 No Power, Airports Closed
Cyclone Ului is Now a Category 1 Storm and Has Crossed the Queensland Coast Near Airlie Beach
Residents are saying the winds of Cyclone Ului sounded like jet engines as it strengthened in to a category three storm; it was since downgraded in to a category two, then a category one storm. According to News.com.au sixty thousand people are currently without power, the airports have been closed and residents are just trying to ride out the rest of the storm.
Trees have come down and homes in Mackay, Proserpine and Collinsville have been affected, but it is too early to know how much damage the storm has caused.
"It's still dark and pretty breezy here,'' mayor Mike Brunker said.
"I'm driving around the main street of Bowen now and there's a lot of trees down and there's been similar damage in Proserpine.''
Winds reached about 200 km/h and people were not able to go outside due to the noise and the strength of the wind.
A Category Two Storm
As Cyclone Ului weakened in to a category two storm, winds reached 155 km/h. As the storm continues inland it is expected that it will weaken further in to a rain depression. Flooding will be a problem if the heavy rain continues to fall.
Power will not be restored until the strength of the wind dies down and the damage will not be able to be properly assessed until that time.
Queensland Premier Anna Bligh yesterday issued disaster declarations for the Townsville, Burdekin, Whitsunday, Charters Towers, Mackay, Isaac, Rockhampton and Central Highlands local government areas.
The declaration gives emergency authorities the power of mandatory evacuations if required.
Last week the Great Barrier Reef Islands were evacuated as Cyclone Ului approached.