Communities located in the Gulf of Carpentaria between Mapoon and the Queensland Northern Territory border are being asked to take shelter as Tropical Cyclone Nora approaches the coast. 

The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) advised that Category 3 Severe Tropical Cyclone Nora was continuing to track southeast across the northern Gulf of Carpentaria. 

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) Commissioner Katarina Carroll said people in the cyclone warning and watch zones should have finalised their preparations, and have a plan for what they will do as the cyclone approaches.

“As the cyclone approaches, turn off all your electricity, gas and water and unplug all appliances, bring your family to the strongest part of the house and ensure your emergency kit is close by,” Commissioner Carroll said.

“If the building you’re sheltering in begins to break up, immediately seek shelter under a strong table or bench or under a heavy mattress.

“Keep up to date with the movement and severity of the cyclone by listening to your local radio and watching the BoM website.

“Stay inside until you have received official advice that the cyclone has passed. Some people are not aware of the calm eye of the cyclone and mistakenly venture outside thinking that the threat has passed.”

State Emergency Service Regional Director Wayne Coutts said while SES crews would be on hand to help the community after the cyclone had crossed it was important the community was patient. 

“The public are asked to remember that the SES is made up of volunteers dedicated to helping others and the SES will always put the safety of its volunteers first during adverse weather conditions,” Mr Coutts said. 

“In some cases it may be difficult for crews to access isolated communities, and the SES will also assist the most vulnerable members of the community first, so it is important able-bodied residents do everything they can to help themselves and their community.”

Importantly, Mr Coutts said the intense rainfall could result in the flooding of creeks, drains and causeways. 

“The simple message here is if it’s flooded, forget it,” he said.

“Under no circumstance should people enter flooded creeks or causeways by road or on foot. If you come across rising floodwaters, turn around and seek an alternative route.

“Parents, please also discourage your children from playing or swimming in flooded creeks and drains. Floodwaters can be deadly and the dangers lurking beneath the surface are real.”

For storm and flood assistance contact the State Emergency Service (SES) on 132 500 and in a life threatening emergency call Triple Zero (000). 

For further information on how to prepare your home visit www.getready.qld.gov.au and to keep updated on warnings monitor the BoM website at www.bom.gov.au.