Wallace issues road warning as Cyclone Yasi approaches


Motorists warned to avoid non-essential travel in northern Queensland as Cyclone Yasi bears down on the region

February 2, 2011

Motorists are being warned to avoid non-essential travel in northern Queensland as Cyclone Yasi bears down on the region.

Main Roads Minister Craig Wallace says areas in Far North and North Queensland and the Mackay and Whitsundays regions are at risk of torrential rain, extreme winds and flash flooding.

He says those who do not need to be on the road should stay in their homes.

"I urge people who aren't evacuating to put off all non-essential travel on the roads to ensure the routes are clear for evacuees, police, road crews and emergency vehicles," Wallace says.

"The recent extreme flooding which impacted nearly 75 percent of the state has already taken a tragic toll and we need to do everything we can not to add to that."

Wallace says the Government is expecting damage to the transport network and extensive road closures, but adds that emergency crews are on standby to carry out repairs as soon as possible.

The Government expects the latest bout of weather to exacerbate the $2.5 billion damage to the network from the recent floods.

The Bureau of Meteorology says Cyclone Yasi poses a serious threat to North Queensland, especially between Cairns and Townsville. Winds of up to 300km/h are expected between Cairns and Ingham

The Bureau expects sea levels to rise to dangerous levels between Cairns and Ayr. Flooding rains are expected from Cooktown to Sarina
"Winds are forecast to ease about the east coast during Thursday morning as the cyclone moves inland," the Bureau says.

"If you must travel, please listen to weather updates and road reports on local radio, visit 131940.qld.gov.au or ring 131940 to plan your trip and see if there are other routes available," Wallace says.

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