Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

{How We Faced Up from Destructive } {to a Mauling Cyclone Ului }

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

{How We Faced Up from Destructive } {to a Mauling Cyclone Ului }

Article excerpt

Byline: Fallon Hudson fallon.hudson@dailymercury.com.au

WINDS of 100kmh in Mackay and over 200kmh in the Whitsundays delivered a powerful blow to the region as Cyclone Ului engulfed our coastline in the early hours of yesterday morning.

Airlie Beach and the Whitsunday Islands bore the brunt of the assault with some homes and businesses flooded and roofs ripped from homes.

There was extensive damage to yachts berthed in the Whitsunday region - many, including Sydney to Hobart winner Ragamuffin, were blown on to rocks while others were sunk.

Cane farmers in the region have also suffered damage to their crops.

Parents were also advised to contact Education Queensland or their children's school to check if schools were operating as usual.

Residents were well prepared and battened down the hatches throughout Saturday as people in Mackay, Proserpine and Airlie Beach braced for the destructive winds and heavy rains.

Ului, which developed during Saturday into a category three cyclone, crossed over Airlie Beach at 1.30am with a force that uprooted trees throughout the region.

Mackay Regional Council Mayor Col Meng said SES, Council and Ergon Energy crews were working on the clean-up of the city and restoring power to 55,000 homes that lost electricity.

Tens of thousands of homes were still without electricity last night.

"We are relieved that the cyclone has passed. However, we are concerned for flooding coming down from Mirani Weir throughout Sunday afternoon and evening," Cr Meng said.

He said no-one was injured by the destructive winds and he commended the community of the Mackay region for their preparation and focus on putting safety first.

"Most residents stayed indoors and I congratulate them for staying off the streets," he said.

Cr Meng said once the dangerous, cyclonic conditions had passed, Ergon Energy crews worked around the clock to restore power. …

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