Ului leaves path of destruction
MACKAY Airport remains closed and Emergency Services have begun cleaning-up after Ex-Tropical Cyclone Ului.
The airport was closed after it entered Stage 5 of its Cyclone Plan yesterday.
All aerodrome facilities and runway services have been withdrawn and normal airport operations have ceased due to the strength of the winds associated with the cyclone.
Airport staff are currently recommissioning facilities and inspections and any necessary repairs are expected to be carried out.
Mackay Airport will issue an advice once aerodrome facilities and runway services are recommissioned.
Ex-Tropical Cyclone Ului left a path of destruction in the region, with the streets of Mackay now covered in debris, leaves and trees.
Mackay Regional Council Mayor Col Meng said SES, Council and Ergon Energy crews were working on the clean up of Mackay city, along with restoring power to about 55,000 homes which lost electricity.
"We are relieved that the cyclone has passed,” Cr Meng said.
"However we are concerned for flooding coming down from Mirani Weir throughout the afternoon and this evening.
"We are very fortunate to survive with only a few lost roofs and trees."
Cr Meng said that as of 8am this morning no one was injured from the destructive winds.
He said that as of 12pm today residents will be able to dispose of green waste only at Hay Point, Paget, Sarina, Otterburn, Finch Hatton and Bloomsbury.
The Bucasia, Bayersville and Walkerston will expand on their usual day of operation and be available for green waste disposal all week.
"Green waste disposal at the Bucasia, Bayersville, will be free for one week - until dump closure times until Sunday March 27," he said.
Ergon Energy has begun the massive task of reinstating power to the estimated 55,000 households which lost power after the cyclone crossed the coast, near Proserpine, early this morning.
Alligator Creek, Pioneer Valley and Hume Street are likely to have their power restored first.
Ergon Energy Corporate Communications Manager Bob Pleash said the whole region bore the brunt of the cyclone including Sarina, Mackay, Glenden, the Whitsundays, Proserpine, Glenden and the Pioneer Valley.
“We have sustained significant impact on our network and currently we are working through the damage in a planned, methodical manner to ensure we get supply back on to affected customers as quickly and safely as possible,” he said.
Ergon Energy crews are now out on the ground and are working through problems and reinstating power.
“In terms of restoration our immediate priority is to reinstate supply to our bulk supply substations at Alligator Creek, Pioneer Valley and Hume Street,” Mr Pleash said.
“We appear to have sustained some damage on the high voltage transmission lines supplying these facilities.
“After that we can then begin reinstating supply to our zone substations and high voltage feeders after which localised distribution problems and individual no supplies will be dealt with.”
Restoration was hampered early this morning with conditions deemed too dangerous for crews to respond.
Mr Pleash urged residents to keep away from fallen powerlines and to call triple zero in an emergency situation.
Emergency Management Queensland Acting Deputy Chief Officer Wayne Coutts said people in the region should be aware that the hours following a cyclone could still be very dangerous.
“The time immediately after a cyclone is often just as dangerous as the initial event itself,” Mr Coutts said.
“Many injuries and deaths have occurred as a result of people failing to take proper precautions while exploring collapsed buildings and sightseeing through devastated streets.”
Mr Coutts said once residents had been advised that the cyclone and associated dangers had passed they should: Remain indoors until advised not to, check on neighbours if necessary and refrain from using electrical appliances which have been wet until after a safety check.
Websites that may be able to help:
For information on current weather conditions: www.bom.gov.au
For information about what to do after a cyclone: www.disaster.qld.gov.au
For details about power outages and restoration plans visit: www.ergon.com.au
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