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State’s north bracing for Jasper’s big blow

Residents of far north Queensland are bracing for possible power outages, internet and water supply disruptions with the arrival of Tropical Cyclone Jasper.

Dec 11, 2023, updated Dec 11, 2023
A Fire and Rescue officer prepares swift water rescue boats at a facility in Brisbane. (AAP Image/Jono Searle)

A Fire and Rescue officer prepares swift water rescue boats at a facility in Brisbane. (AAP Image/Jono Searle)

As of 4.30am on Monday, Jasper had weakened again to a category 1 system and was about 600km east of Cairns and 530km northeast of Townsville.

“Jasper is forecast to re-intensify during Tuesday as it approaches the coast,” the Bureau of Meteorology said.

Meanwhile, people living between Cooktown and Ingham are still being warned to expect damaging 90km/h winds to develop from Tuesday.

The winds could extend as far north as Cape Melville, on the eastern coast of Cape York Peninsula, and as far south as Townsville, the Bureau of Meteorology warned.

Heavy rainfall was also expected to develop along the coast from late Tuesday ahead of Jasper likely making landfall on Wednesday between Cape Flattery and Cardwell, potentially as a category 2 system.

Flooding was possible for the north tropical coast, parts of the Cape York Peninsula and Gulf Country from Wednesday, the bureau warned.

A severe weather warning for damaging winds was also in place for Monday in parts of the Herbert, lower Burdekin, central coast and Whitsundays districts, with the bureau predicting gusts of up to 90km/h in some areas.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services on Sunday warned residents between Cape Melville and Townsville strong winds could fell trees and powerlines, blow rooves off houses and blow away anything not tied down.

Jasper could also cause phone and internet outages, along with water supplies, the services warned.

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Communities could also be isolated.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk – before announcing her shock retirement from politics on Sunday – said she had been briefed on the cyclone.

“I can say that all preparations are well and truly in place,” she told reporters in Brisbane.

“It is expected to make land on Wednesday and can I just remind Queenslanders and especially north Queensland to take care.”

The cyclone was travelling 14km/h, moving southwest as of Sunday afternoon.

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