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Kimi fizzles out, north on alert for strong winds and flooding

Statewide

Cyclone Kimi has weakened to a tropical low off north Queensland, but emergency services are warning people the storm is still packing very strong winds and could bring flooding.

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Coastal residents have been spared the worst after the cyclone weakened from a category two system to a storm, sitting 135km north of Townsville, on Tuesday morning.

The Bureau of Meteorology says the system still has wind gusts of up to 95km/h and will bring heavy downpours to the region between Innisfail and Bowen on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner John Bolger said ex-tropical cyclone Kimi still posed a risk and people should remain vigilant.

“Ex-TC Kimi is now a tropical low sitting just off Townsville, so while our coastal crossing is highly unlikely near, we’re still well within a severe weather event – very strong winds, and a lot of heavy rain – so that flash flooding and general flooding warning remains in place,” he told Seven’s Sunrise program.

“So we ask people to remain vigilant and can I just please stress to people that if it’s flooded, forget it.”

“We still have emergency response crews in place, south from Cairns and north from Townsville, so the emergency still exists, while we’re not dealing with a tropical cyclone we’re still in a very dangerous weather pattern.”

Bolger said swift water rescue crews, helicopters and flood boats were standing by to deal with any flood rescues.

A flood watch has been issued for waterways including the Mulgrave, Russell, Johnstone, Tully, Murray, Herbert, Black, Haughton, Ross and Bohle rivers.

“I know we’re Queenslanders, I know we go through cyclones every single year but please do not be complacent,” Queensland Police Minister Mark Ryan said on Monday.

“So if you’re in those areas you need to prepare… if it’s flooded forget it, have a plan about where you’ll be travelling, bear in mind where those river catchments are, be aware that during this event you could have flash flooding.”

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