Wednesday, January 24, 2024


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Preparation Is Key For Cyclone Preparedness

Now is the time for Mackay residents to get ready, and the message is to be prepared, but not panic.

At a press conference on Monday morning, Mayor Greg Williamson announced that the region transitioned from an alert position to a 'lean forward' stance. This signifies that the Disaster Management Group (DMG) is actively engaged in providing all the necessary resources and support for our region to prepare for the possibility of a significant flooding event.

With the high possibility that Cyclone Kirrily will cross the coast near to us, the council is calling on all residents to stock up their emergency kits, familiarise themselves with council’s Emergency Action Guide and get their emergency evacuation plans in place.

Mayor Greg Williamson said the council’s Emergency Dashboard was the key point of information for all residents during a cyclone situation.

“Residents should go to the dashboard at and opt in to receive text messages and email notifications of emergency alerts and weather warnings in our region,” Mayor Williamson said.

“The dashboard is updated in real time with the latest information regarding disaster preparation, management and recovery,” he said.

Mayor Greg Williamson highlights crucial information in the Emergency Action Guide, a valuable resource readily available from Council, local libraries and the Visitor Information Centres. The information is also available on the Council's website. Photo credit: Amanda Wright

Sandbags And Supplies

Mackay's Call To Action For Disaster Readiness

Mayor Williamson said history has shown that our best defence when it comes to disaster is preparation.

“We are asking residents to make a plan and discuss it with their family, so they have the ‘five knows’ covered,” Mayor Williamson said.

“Residents should know when to go, where to go, how to move and what to take. We’re also asking them to get to know their neighbours who can be lifesavers in an emergency,” he said.

Mayor Williamson said as part of household preparation, it was essential that everyone has at least three full days of supplies.

“We recommend that an emergency kit is kept in a safe dry place at all times, and should include water, non-refrigerated food items, medicines and toiletries, batteries and food for pets as well,” Mayor Williamson said.

“You should also fuel up your vehicles and ensure you have fuel if you have a generator,” he said.

One aspect of this weather system that is concerning is the potential rainfall.

“All of the prediction models have significant rainfall attached to them. The part which is concerning is that once the cyclone impacts the cost, it is likely to turn to a southerly direction and drop a lot of rain in our western ranges,” Mayor Williamson said.

“Somewhere in the vicinity of 800ml to a metre is anticipated which is reminiscent of Cyclone Debbie which resulted in flooding we had never seen.

“It’s all a hypothesis at the moment so the greatest message we can deliver is to be prepared and not panicked.”

Mayor Williamson said that the storm surge and timing of the high tide on the weekend will be factors in the extent of the flooding.

“We have automatic monitoring systems in the Pioneer River, Sandy Creek and other tributaries so we will be very well informed immediately,” he added.

“Our Emergency Management Team is already working hard.”

Mackay Regional Council has emergency sand stockpiles at 13 locations across the region, at:

   • Armstrong Beach Rural Fire Brigade.

   • Calen – Church Street.

   • Campwin Beach SES Facility.

   • Finch Hatton SES Facility.

   • Grasstree Beach – Zelma Street.

   • Koumala SES Facility.

   • Midge Point – SES Facility.

   • Mirani – Victoria Street.

   • North Mackay – Norris Road reserve.

   • Sarina Darts Hall.

   • Seaforth tennis courts.

   • South Mackay – BB Print Stadium overflow car park.

   • West Mackay – Hume Street.

   • West Mackay – Shakespeare Street.

Residents must bring their own sandbags and a shovel to self-fill bags.

Residents are encouraged to keep an eye out on council’s Facebook page for tips on how to get prepared for disaster season as well as advice on the cyclone’s approach.

You can also council’s website at  

Please note, information was accurate at time of printing on Tuesday 23rd January. Please visit council’s Facebook page to stay up to date with current warnings.

Mayor Greg Williamson briefed local media on the likely path of Tropical Cyclone Kirrily and highlighted the valuable information within the Emergency Action Guide on Monday morning when the Disaster Management Group took a ‘lean forward’ action stance. Photo credit: Amanda Wright

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