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Slow as a wet week: Soggy aftermath of slow-moving Kirrily as ex-cyclone heads north

Crews have been working overnight to restore electricity for Queenslanders left without power after ex-tropical cyclone Kirrily lashed the state.

Jan 29, 2024, updated Jan 29, 2024
A supplied image obtained on Friday, January 26, 2024, of fallen power line and vehicles crushed by trees at Riverway Drive, Kelso, Townsville. Cyclone Kirrily has been downgraded to a tropical low after crossing the Queensland coast northwest of Townsville and leaving tens of thousands of properties without power. (AAP Image/Supplied by Queensland Police Service)

A supplied image obtained on Friday, January 26, 2024, of fallen power line and vehicles crushed by trees at Riverway Drive, Kelso, Townsville. Cyclone Kirrily has been downgraded to a tropical low after crossing the Queensland coast northwest of Townsville and leaving tens of thousands of properties without power. (AAP Image/Supplied by Queensland Police Service)

More than 4000 homes were without power in Townsville city council area on Monday morning, while 93 customers were still in the dark in Burdekin shire.

About 66,000 customers experienced a power outage at the peak of the event.

Parts of the state remained at risk of heavy rain and flooding as Kirrily moved slowly across the state’s western interior over the next few days, the Bureau of Meteorology said on Monday.

Seymour Gap received 219mm of rain between 9am on Sunday and 4am on Monday, while 131mm fell at Kirby in the same period.

“The system is expected to meander across the interior of the state, although there is vast uncertainty as to its future track and intensity,” a severe weather warning from the bureau said.

Parts of the central highlands also recorded heavy rain on Monday morning, with Tanderra receiving 73mm in an hour.

Central and southern Queensland will be more at risk of flash flooding early this week as well as parts of northern NSW as the low moves down the coast.

By Wednesday it is predicted the low will travel north, relieving southern residents and slowing rainfall.

Heavy rain fell over the weekend in the Lockyer Valley west of Brisbane, the Central Highlands and northwest Queensland, with the bureau issuing flood warnings for numerous rivers.

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The top totals were recorded at Glenora Road (243mm) and Mount Berryman (234mm).

Disaster assistance was also extended to cyclone-affected residents in the state’s north at the weekend.

Personal hardship assistance grants have been offered to residents of the Townsville and Burdekin shires, the worst hit by the weekend’s power outages.

Grants of up to $180 for individuals and up to $900 for families of five or more were announced on Saturday night, via the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements jointly funded by the federal and Queensland governments.

Kirrily came after the destructive Tropical Cyclone Jasper struck the state’s far north in December bringing heavy rain, widespread isolation and major flooding.

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