Forecasters expect it to make landfall on Friday morning, between Tully, south of Cairns, and Townsville, and there is a cyclone warning for coastal and island communities from Cairns to Mackay.

An emergency storm tide alert has been issued for Townsville and the council will open three evacuation centres on Thursday morning.

Mayor Jenny Hill said residents needed to take action.

“You need to consider protecting your property which may include moving your vehicles to higher ground, lifting household items that may be affected and  consider the use of tarpaulins and sand bags to prevent water entering your property,” she said.

“If you do not feel safe to remain in your property during the king tide event you can relocate to friends and family for a few hours until the tide recedes. Information will be made available to the public about other places people can go if they don’t have friends and family once they have been prepared.

“Localised flooding is expected to affect residential roads in these areas. Motorists are advised to avoid driving in flood water to prevent wash into people’s homes.”

The Bureau of Meteorology is warning the storm will likely bring heavy rain, a dangerous storm surge and pack winds of up to 120km/h. They’re issuing warnings every three hours.

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