The ink has hardly gone dry on my series about the Brisbane floods which, if you recall, had their roots in the relatively weak Tropical Cyclone Tasha which made landfall on Christmas Day between Cairns and Innisfail.
From that moment on, the heavy rainfalls that Tasha had bought with her seemed to slowly move from North Queensland all the way across the state passing through the south and into New South Wales and Victoria. We all now know how damaging those floods were.
Tropical Cyclone Tasha was only a Category 1.
But what have we got now?
Tropical Cyclone Yasi can only be is described as a beast. According to the very latest reports, in about 3 hours it is going to make landfall somewhere close to Innisfail, a town about 70 km south of Cairns.
Innisfail was host to tropical Cyclone Larry back in March 2006. Larry was a category 4 cyclone and he caused around $800 million worth of damage. Crikey, they must be sick of cyclones up there.
Tropical Cyclone Yasi is a Category 5 cyclone and every bit as big as hurricane Katrina. Yasi is expected to be both catastrophic and destructive. In places the storm surge could well be up to 7 metres above the normal high tide.
Here, in Brisbane, we will hardly feel the effects of this cyclone. Not tonight at midnight anyway. But we have to wonder what happens next. You don’t have to be a weatherman to predict another couple of weeks of very heavy rainfall throughout this state. It sounds very much like “here we go again”.
But now, our thoughts and our prayers, if that’s your thing, should be with all the people currently in North Queensland. They are surely in for a torrid night.
What’s a category 5 like?