Brisbane residents are being urged to prepare for the chance of Tropical Cyclone Oma making landfall in south-east Queensland in the coming days, despite latest predictions that the storm will turn away from the coast at the last minute.
The category-two system is currently about 900 kilometres north-east of the Queensland capital in the Coral Sea and moving towards the city, the ABC reports.
Bureau of Meterology (BoM) forecasters are uncertain of the cyclone’s movements. They say the most likely scenario is the system will stay offshore during the weekend before moving back in a northerly direction parallel to the coast. Regardless, south-east Queensland would feel the cyclone’s effects.
“We are still going to see the impacts of the system, especially in regards to the winds,” BoM forecaster Michael Knepp told the ABC.
“We're going to see gale-force winds developing tomorrow, and not only gale-force winds but conditions along the beach are going to be quite dangerous.”
A severe weather warning is already in place for abnormally high tides and dangerous surf conditions between 1770 in the north and the Queensland-New South Wales border. Dangerous surf conditions are expected to affect the south-east coast overnight and into Friday, with this morning’s high tide expected to be a metre over the highest tide of the year in Noosa, Caloundra, Maroochydore, Moreton Island, Rainbow Beach and the Gold Coast.
Shark nets have been removed across the south-east and excavators and trucks yesterday began building a seawall on the Gold Coast.
The early effects of the cyclone have already combined with a supermoon and king tide to inundate low-lying suburbs in the inner north of Brisbane, News Corp reports.
Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk yesterday said the council’s sandbag depots were fully stocked with 57,000 sandbags, the Courier Mail reports.
“The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast rain over the weekend and council remains alert, but not alarmed,” he told the Courier.
“Parts of Brisbane are also experiencing higher than normal tides and we encourage residents in bayside, riverside and low-lying areas to avoid parking their vehicles on the street,” Quirk continued.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services has advised people on the coastline to stay well away from the water’s edge. It has also warned people not to drive, walk or ride through flood waters and to keep clear of creeks and storm drains.
Darra – South Depot, 38 Shamrock Road
Morningside – Balmoral Depot, 9 Redfern Street
Newmarket – SES Depot, 66 Wilston Road
Zillmere-North – Depot, 33 Jennings Street
For emergencies, contact the SES on 132 500. Follow updates on BoM warnings here.