Far north Queensland braces for Cyclone Kimi

Annastacia Palaszczuk says emergency services are well prepared

Ergon Energy is urging customers in Far North Queensland to make sure they’re prepared for the arrival of Cyclone Kimi, which is expected to make landfall this afternoon (January 18) between Cooktown and Cairns.

Ergon’s executive general manager, operations, Paul Jordon said strong winds were expected in the early morning between Cape Melville and Cardwell.

However, by the time Cyclone Kimi was forecast to cross the coast later in the day, it may have developed into a category two cyclone, packing more destructive winds. Therefore, customers are urged to make preparations well in advance.

Ergon Energy is well prepared with employees ready to respond to any power outages and damage to assets once the cyclone has passed and it is safe to do so.

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“One of the biggest dangers during gale force winds is flying debris, which can pose a threat to people, property and powerlines. So, it’s important to clear your yard of, or tie down loose items like outdoor furniture, trampolines or anything else that may pose a threat,” Mr Jordan said.

Mr Jordon said each home should also have an emergency kit prepared.

“This should contain torches, batteries, water containers, canned food, bottled water, a can opener and self-contained cooking facilities. A battery-powered radio is also essential for hearing important advice from news services.

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“The next step, once the cyclone [Cyclone Kimi] has arrived, is to ensure all electrical appliances are unplugged at the power point to protect them from damage and people should stay indoors for the duration of the cyclone and listen to a battery-powered radio.

“Once the cyclone has passed, it doesn’t mean the danger has, so you must ensure you stay safe.

“Fallen powerlines can be extremely dangerous. Stay away, warn others to do the same and report them to emergency services on 000 or contact Ergon Energy on 13 16 70.

“Entering floodwaters can also be hazardous as they could hide fallen powerlines.

“Listen to local radio stations for status reports from Ergon Energy about affected areas and restoration advice.” Mr Jordon added.