Birdsville, Bedourie and back – now unstoppable Kirrily is heading for Wollongong

Wet weather has lashed remote Queensland as ex-tropical cyclone Kirrily heads toward the NSW border.

Feb 05, 2024, updated Feb 05, 2024
Cyclone Kirrily caused huge damage in the far north pack winds of up to 140km/h (AAP Dan Peled)

Cyclone Kirrily caused huge damage in the far north pack winds of up to 140km/h (AAP Dan Peled)

The remnants of Kirrily have lingered in the northwest for days after impacting the Queensland coast near Townsville in January.

Roads were cut, rail networks were affected and flooding was widespread, with some properties expected to be inundated for months.

The latest storm warning for the southwest of Queensland as Kirrily moves towards NSW.

The former cyclone now has NSW in its sights after moving from the Gulf at the weekend, bringing yet more rain as it passed over Birdsville and Bedourie in southwest Queensland on Sunday night.

The Bureau of Meteorology’s Daniel Hayes said ex-cyclone Kirrily was moving out of Queensland and was set to head toward Wollongong, NSW, and further south to Canberra, bringing showers and thunderstorms.

Bedourie has received 113mm and northwest NSW’s Tibooburra 79mm.

“We don’t have a lot of rain gauges in that area so there could be more widespread or uniform falls in the areas,” Mr Hayes said.

Flood warnings are in place for the Diamantina River and the Georgina River on Queensland’s western and southern borders.

There are also alerts for the Western Downs region, an area west of Brisbane battered by a recent 24-hour downpour that caused flooding.

“That’s old water basically moving through the system from the activity we had last week and earlier,” Mr Hayes said of the Moonie and Condamine River alerts.

Flooding hit the Western Downs, Lockyer Valley and north of Brisbane in the latest wild weather to impact Queensland.

It came after Kirrily was the second cyclone of the season to devastate Queensland following ferocious bushfires.

Governor-General David Hurley visited impacted communities on Monday, sharing a message from King Charles.

“My wife and I have been deeply concerned by the devastating impacts of recent weather events across Queensland,” Charles’ message said.

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“The destructive fires of late last year, and the more recent tropical cyclones … have, I know, brought unbearable pressures on the lives of those in many communities.”

Charles said the recent natural disasters were a test of the Queensland people’s resilience.

“We are full of admiration for those brave rescue crews and all the others who help protect life and defend property in difficult and often very dangerous circumstances,” he said.

“That spirit of mateship and helping those in need reflects the very best of Australian characteristics and makes us so proud of the resilience and determination of the Australian people.

“Our constant thoughts and sympathy are with all Queenslanders who are being continually impacted by these events.”

Meanwhile, Queensland is not expected to be impacted if a cyclone forms in the Coral Sea in the coming days.

A “weak and disorganised” low is located near Fiji, Mr Hayes said.

It is set to move toward the Australian coast mid-week where it could intensify before tracking east.

“We may have a cyclone in the Australian region at some time this week but it’s unlikely to have any impact on the coast,” Mr Hayes said.

The system would remain up to 1000km off the Queensland coast, he said.

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