Gulf of Carpentaria communities are urged to put their safety first as Tropical Cyclone Nora tracks south over land today.
 
The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) advised that Tropical Cyclone Nora crossed the western coast of Cape York north of Pormpuraaw as a category three cyclone late Saturday (24 March).
 
TC Nora has since been downgraded to a category one cyclone and is currently moving south-west over land.  
 
Communities between Karumba and Cape Keerweer remain in the cyclone warning area, while areas between Karumba and the Norther Territory Border, including Mornington Island, are in the watch zone.
 
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) Commissioner Katarina Carroll said people need to listen to the local authorities in their area for specific advice as the danger had not passed for many communities.
 
“While Tropical Cyclone Nora has crossed the coast, it is maintaining a category one intensity and people in the cyclone warning zones should continue to shelter in a safe, strong building until they are advised by authorities that it is safe to go outside.
 
“Be particularly aware of the calm eye of the cyclone. Some people mistakenly venture outside during this time thinking that the threat has passed. There are communities yet to be impacted, so people in those areas should continue to bunker down.
 
“Once the cyclone has passed, there is likely to be a number of hazards including fallen trees, power lines, debris and even possible structural damage to infrastructure and it is vital people do not go sightseeing and avoid damaged buildings.
 
“For residents in communities already impacted by the cyclone, please heed the advice of emergency services. If you are allowed to venture outside or return home, only go to areas that emergency services have declared safe. Under no circumstances should you attempt to cross flooded roads, creeks or causeways.
 
“If electrical appliances in your home have been wet, do not use them until they’re checked for safety.
 
“Please be aware that solar panels may also have been damaged or may not be operating as usual, so stay well away from them until they have been checked.”
 
Ms Carroll said QFES crews were now out in force in areas earlier affected by the cyclone, including Pormpuraaw, Aurukun and Kowanyama. 
 
“Reports from the ground are that these communities are doing well and structures have remained intact, however Pormpuraww is without power,” she said.
 
“Our crews have so far today conducted more than 100 assessments for damage and they will continue to conduct these as they work to gain a full understanding of the situation and assist with recovery efforts.
 
“So far, damage to buildings has been mostly minor.”
 
For storm and flood assistance contact the SES on 132 500.
 
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.