Two remote far-north Queensland communities could be without electricity for days after Cyclone Trevor tore down trees and power lines.
The entire communities of Lockhart River and Coen were without power on Wednesday morning, as residents began to emerge from their homes to assess the damage.
The category three storm ripped through the region late on Tuesday, dumping more than 200 millimetres of rain in just six hours and bringing wind gusts of more than 130kmh.
It has since weakened to a category one system and is expected to pass just north of Aurukun on the west coast of Cape York before re-intensifying into a category four storm as it pushes towards the Northern Territory.
An Ergon Energy spokeswoman said 460 customers – including 180 in Aurukun – had lost power because of the cyclone.
Energy crews are ready to be sent in as soon as airstrips in the remote communities are safe to land on, but it could be days before power is fully restored.
Damaging to very destructive winds in the core of tropical #cycloneTrevor. Some images of damage from #LockhartRiver. For cyclone preparedness and safety advice: https://t.co/3AD7YyJhdg. For emergency assistance call Qld SES on 132 500 or 000. For info: https://t.co/Tw65a1FNqM pic.twitter.com/LF8fSP4Ii4
— Bureau of Meteorology, Queensland (@BOM_Qld) March 19, 2019
Lockhart River Mayor Wayne Butcher said Trevor was the worst he had endured.
“It was ferocious – the wind was just constant between 4pm and midnight,” he said.
“This was probably the worst one … this one basically sat near the community and hounded us for hours.
“I’ve got a timber house and I could feel it shaking.”
Lockhart River resident Hannah Brown posted on Facebook that her family had spent the night “getting absolutely smashed”.
“We’re OK at the Lockhart River aerodrome, lots of destruction after a horrid night,” she wrote.
Cr Butcher said initial reports suggested no major infrastructure damage.
‘We’ve got a few trees across houses and a few sheds have gone flying,” he said.
The cyclone warning for the east coast has since been cancelled, but the danger is not entirely over, with fresh risks of flooding.
“We’re going to see large falls right up to next Friday with chances of flash flooding,” Jess Gardner from the Bureau of Meteorology said.
“It will be very dangerous.”
A moderate flood warning remains in place for the Daintree River, with a general flood warning for the Mossman River.
Roads and schools remain closed across the cape and residents are reminded not to risk driving on flooded roads.