Coastal Queensland residents are being urged to prepare for tropical Cyclone Marcia, which is expected to develop into a category 2 storm when it hits the shore.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) says Marcia, which was over the central Coral Sea early on Thursday, is slowly strengthening and is expected to make landfall on Friday.
Gales are expected to develop between Sarina and Double Island Point by Thursday evening and turn into destructive wind gusts of up to 150km/h on the coast and islands near the centre on Friday morning.
Abnormally high tides will be experienced on Thursday and Friday with water levels expected to rise above the highest tide of the year on the high tide.
Coastal residents between St Lawrence and Double Island Point are specifically warned of the dangerous storm tide as the cyclone crosses the coast.
‘The sea is likely to rise steadily up to a level well above the normal tide, with damaging waves and flooding of some low-lying areas close to the shoreline,’ a BoM statement said.
‘People living in areas likely to be affected by this flooding should take measures to protect their property as much as possible and be prepared to follow instructions regarding evacuation of the area if advised to do so by the authorities.’
Dangerous surf is expected to develop about exposed beaches south of Sandy Cape from Thursday morning.
People between Sarina and Double Island Point should take precautions and listen to the next BoM advice.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services deputy commissioner Mark Roche said regardless of whether the system becomes a cyclone or not, it was vital for residents to prepare for severe weather now.
‘Check your house, in particular the roof, is in good condition, keep branches clear of the house, clean gutters and clear your property of debris,’ Mr Roche said.
Heavy rainfall is also expected and flood warnings are in place for the area.