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Vic Crew Heads North

20 Victorian personnel to fly to QLD to assist in wake of floods

As recovery efforts continue in Queensland in the wake of storms and floods, Victoria is lending a hand by sending crews to MacKay.

20 personnel from the Department of Health and Human Services fly to Queensland today.

They're the first of 200 emergency recovery personnel who'll be on the ground across the next eight weeks.

Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley says the crews will assist in a number of ways.

"It's all about getting communities to understand the services that we may need to get them access to," Mr Lapsley told 3AW News.

"Assistance with the way in which they operate in the local community, including how they're going with insurance companies.

"Some of the administration of what people need to do post emergency."

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Earlier:

The flooding that's occurred after ex Cyclone Debbie has claimed at least five lives, with a further three people still missing in northern New South Wales and Queensland.

In northern NSW, three people from the same family are feared to be dead after they were trapped in a car that disappeared in a swollen river.

The car went into the Tweed River just after 1.30pm on Monday.

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Meanwhile, the people of Rockhampton are bracing for what could be the town's worst-ever flood. It's though some 5,000 properties are threatened.


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Storms have begun hitting the mainland.

As a tropical cyclone gets closer, the Department of Education has closed schools and early childhood centres.

Tens of thousands have evacuated, with the time to leave already passed.

Panic buying has all but empties some stores of supplies

Hamilton Island has already felt the wrath of Cyclone Debbie, as 178 kilometer winds, pounded the tourist resort.
Meanwhile in Mackay, torrential rain is falling and local authorities have issued a storm surge warning.

The system is forecast to cross the coast between later this morning, near Ayr, with winds that could reach 260 km/h.

According to the news.com.au, TROPICAL Cyclone Debbie may yet develop into a category-5 system.

Up to 300,000 people from Townsville to the Whitsundays are in the line of the monster storm as it tracks towards the coast with destructive winds possible as early as today. Disaster experts warn the cyclone, predicted to be a category 5 or even the highest rating of a category 5, looms as a catastrophic event capable of destroying homes, buildings and power line in the 400km-long stretch of coast.

As dawn breaks, North Queensland residents are waking up to the extent of destruction that is only now being realised. Tropical Cyclone Debbie has been downgraded to a severe weather system after lashing lashing the north Queensland coast, with winds reaching speeds of more than 250km/h.Hamilton Island recorded a wind gust of 262km/h on Tuesday morning. L’imposant cyclone Debbie filmé depuis l’espace via @lemondefr #innovation https://t.co/qafsbAdJKG — olivier petit (@olivier_petit75) March 28, 2017 There is no estimate on damage yet, but the bill will probably end up in the billions. Daylight to reveal the full damage from #CycloneDebbie https://t.co/USPZPsPtSH pic.twitter.com/8XuDzx0Fkd — Watchmanz (@Watchmanz) March 28, 2017

That result would: "score a direct hit on the state’s biggest population centre outside of the capital" according to news.com.au

DIARY OF A CYCLONE -From the BOM Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie 16 - 23 December 2003 Summary Debbie formed on 18 December in the Arafura Sea, within 250 kilometres of the northern Australian coast. Debbie tracked southwest, intensifying to severe tropical cyclone strength early on 20 December.

During the afternoon of 20 December, Debbie shifted to a more southerly track, began to weaken slightly and then crossed the Northern Territory coast in the evening between Goulburn Island and Maningrida.

Debbie continued to move south over land, decaying into a rain depression on the morning of 21 December and continuing south-westwards over land for the next few days.

A tropical low formed within the monsoon trough on 16 December, as an MJO pulse propagated into the region. Under the influence of a low to mid-level easterly air-stream the low moved slowly west.

A deep easterly surge, combined with decreasing upper-level shear, created favourable conditions for the low to slowly develop while continuing westward. On 18 December the low slowed and began moving to the southwest, as it came under the increasing influence of the monsoonal westerlies. Debbie reached cyclone intensity on 18 December and continued tracking to the southwest.

Just prior to landfall, Debbie began to weaken as a result of restricted upper outflow.

Debbie also came under the influence of some weak vertical wind shear, and sustained possible entrainment of dry air before landfall. During the evening of 20 December Debbie crossed the northern Australian coast and weakened to a rain depression early on 21 December. As Debbie crossed a sparsely populated section of the coast, no significant structural damage occurred to townships.

The communities of Warruwi (on Goulburn Island) and Maningrida suffered some minor structural damage such as lifted sheets of roofing iron. Warruwi sustained tree damage to power lines, with interruptions to both power and water supplies following Debbie 's landfall.

The region exposed to Debbie 's core sustained severe vegetation damage, with 30-40 per cent of trees felled in the area.

As the rain depression tracked southwest over the Northern Territory Top End and finally into the Kimberley region of Western Australia, heavy rainfall caused significant rises in river levels with localised flooding in many areas. Charles Point, near Darwin, received 197 mm on 22 December, while Tindal, near Katherine, received 284 mm on 23 December. Roads were cut at the Cullen and Waterhouse rivers due to flooding.