Cyclone Ita: flash floods close roads
Cyclone Ita runs south of Cairns but wind gusts of up to 100km per hour are still expected in the city. Nine News.PT1M3S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-36kqd 620 349 April 13, 2014
As 300 residents in the Cooktown cyclone shelter made their way into a windswept town on Saturday, some things had changed in the hamlet of 2300.
The West Coast Hotel had lost its roof, as had two houses. Power was out to most. Landline telephones were not working.
But most fortunately no lives had been lost from a towering cyclone initially rated as a fearsome category five, which gusted up to 230km/h as it crossed the coastline about 10pm on Friday just to the town's north.
Cyclone clean-up starts: A policeman stands guard to keep onlookers away from fallen powerlines laying across a street. Photo: Getty Images
Richard Szczerba, a manager at Cornett's IGA in Cooktown, said: ''It's just going to be windy, dreary and all that sort of thing today for us - just everybody out there cleaning, getting stuff off the roads.
''The Endeavour River's flooding - I can't get home. That's just life when a cyclone strikes.''
Mr Szczerba said there were hundreds of trees down in the town and surrounding scrubland.
A satellite image of Cyclone Ita. Photo: NOAA/Twitter
In Cairns, many major shopping centres were closed but some smaller retailers kept their doors open throughout the storm.
''I'm at work … no one's open around me,'' said Glenn Tomlinson, owner of the Railway Newsagency in Mcleod Street.
Mr Tomlinson said the main risk was trees falling and a storm surge predicted for about 3pm.