Tropical Cyclone Debbie has left a trail of destruction across central Queensland.
“We have trees down, trees fallen over cars, we have got awnings ripped off, we have signs down, fences down, torrential rain,” Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Andrew Willcox tells WHO. “It’s just terrible.”
In the state’s most terrifying weather event since 2011’s Cyclone Yasi, Debbie made landfall around 2.30 PM on Tuesday, after sweeping over Hamilton Island and the Whitsunday Islands.
Packing gusts of up to 270km/h, the Category 4 cyclone unearthed trees, tore off roofs and brought down fences across the region, which included Ayr, Airlie Beach, Proserpine, Bowen and Mackay.
Mother-of-two Georgia Houlahan was on holiday with her family on Hamilton Island when the storm hit. “The outdoor furniture smashed against the window next to us and the glass is all in the plunge pool,” the 31 year old told WHO at the height of the storm. “There is debris flying everywhere. ”
At least 48,000 homes have been left without power and regions remain under floodwatch.
The Insurance Council of Australia has declared the event a catastrophe.
“We just asked everyone to stay safe,” says Willcox. “We have a lot of damage. Now we will have to clean up.”
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