Strong winds, surf batter Qld coast

Wild winds are pummelling much of Queensland’s coastline, closing beaches, as the remnants of ex-cyclone Iris head towards the state.

Bureau of Meterology forecaster Livio Regano said the former cyclone was producing hazardous surf all the way from central Queensland to the southeast corner, which would continue for most of the weekend.

Surf lifesavers on Friday closed a number of beaches due to the dangerous surf conditions, including Surfers Paradise, Mermaid, Miami and Currumbin.

But Mr Regano said the full force of the former cyclone would be felt on Sunday and Monday as it brought heavy falls to the Queensland coast.

In good news for the flood-affected north of the state, Mr Regano said the weather system is expected to hit the coast south of Townsville.

“There is an area really from Hervey Bay all the way up to Townsville that is going to be the main focus now,” he said.

The heavy falls are expected to last from Sunday to Tuesday, with some areas potentially getting up to 500mm over three days.

Meanwhile, emergency services in the far north have been sandbagging around low-lying areas, in case the ex-cyclone changes course and heads towards the region, which was last week drenched by ex-tropical cyclone Nora.

Authorities have also urged those going away over the Easter weekend to prepare for the heavy falls and avoid travelling if possible.

“There’s a clear message for everyone that’s travelling over the weekend, from Sunday night to next Wednesday, there’ll be heavy rain everywhere,” State Disaster Co-ordinator Deputy Police Commissioner Bob Gee said.

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