Mackay Rural Fire Service area director Andrew Houley with Mackay SES area control manager Selina Neill. Picture: Lillian Watkins
Mackay Rural Fire Service area director Andrew Houley with Mackay SES area control manager Selina Neill. Picture: Lillian Watkins

How southern Queensland storms will impact Mackay

Mackay and its coastal neighbours are expected to avoid the strong storms predicted for southern Queensland.

The Bureau of Meteorology said the storm would likely reach as far as Emerald in Central Queensland, with a separate system expected to hit Mackay with significantly lower force.

“Mackay can expect more of a coastal system with a bit of rainfall but no storm,” Bureau meteorologist Matt Marshall stated.

“We’re expecting around five to 10 millilitres on average per day for the region leading up to the weekend.”

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Mackay Rural Fire Service area director Andrew Houley said the rain was a welcome addition to take the edge off potential fire danger in the area.

Mr Houley said despite this month being particularly dry for March, he did not think residents should be alarmed.

“The monsoon trough is quite active, we won’t really need to be concerned til about April,” he said.

Mr Houley also warned of the unpredictability of these large systems.

“The systems are quite large, so they can be quite difficult for the bureau to predict,” he said.

“An isolated storm may be very heavy but won’t go for more than 10km”.

Despite this, Mackay SES area control manager Selina Neill advised residents to be aware of their actions in heavy rainfall.

“When it comes to heavy rain, if it’s flooded, forget it,” Mrs Neill said.

“Appearances can be deceiving.”

Mrs Neill also offered advice on how easily overlooked debris could turn into potential hazards in heavy rain.

“Fallen branches and clogged gutters can be really hazardous. Even tennis balls in gutters can get washed through and clog the system,” she said.

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