Townsville locals taking no chances

Juliette's gelato and coffee shop on The Strand in Townsville has boarded up its windows and sandbagged ahead of Cyclone Yasi.
Juliette's gelato and coffee shop on The Strand in Townsville has boarded up its windows and sandbagged ahead of Cyclone Yasi. Stephanie Bauer

TOWNSVILLE residents are bracing for the worst cyclone to cross the Queensland coast in almost a century.

Locals were out in force this morning stock piling non perishable food items and last minute essential supplies before the shops either close or run out of goods this afternoon.

Many people were purchasing tape to protect their window's, gas bottles for barbeque's or radio's to keep updated on the Cyclone Yasi after the power goes down.

Residents lined up out on to the streets in a last ditch attempt to fuel their cars up before Cyclone Yasi hits.

Many service stations were closed today as they had already run out of fuel.

Businesses in the Townsville CBD and along the strand were boarded up preparing for the worst.

Juliette and Garry Bormham ,owners of Juliette's gelato store and coffee shop on the strand, were taking no chances with their business boarding up windows and sandbagging.

"We are worried but we are more scared of the unknown," Ms Bormham said.

"We have never experienced a category five cyclone in Townsville so we don't know what we are in for."

Mr and Ms Bormham said they hadn't moved stock out of their store as there wasn't enough time but were doing everything else they could.

Many Townsville residents have evacuated their homes ahead of Cyclone Yasi which is expected to hit about 10pm tonight.

Annalyce and Mark Staples live at Bushland Beach, a beachside suburb located about 20 minutes north of Townsville.

"We left because we have two small children and we just wanted to be safe," Mark Staples said.

"Apparently the water is going to come within 100m of our home."

Mr and Ms Staples evacuated to a friends house in the suburb of Kelso, located inland from Townsville.

"Hopefully we can go back to our home tomorrow or Friday," Ms Staples said.

"We are a bit scared as to what we will find afterwards."

Rain and wind is expected to intensify in Townsville this afternoon.

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