More downpours on way as Gulf mops up
A CAPE York community have been left cut off "indefinitely'' and may need supplies bought in by helicopter as the effects of cyclone Oswald were felt across the region.
The cyclone crossed the western Cape about 1am between Pormpuraaw and Kowanyama as a category 1, but was quickly downgraded to a low pressure system.
Kowanyama airport's runway sustained major damage and the roads are now cut, with mayor Robert Holness now gravely concerned over how to bring supplies and medical aid to the stricken community.
Flights are usually the only way to access the area during wet season and stock may now have to be flown by helicopter from nearby Pormpuraaw until the damage can be repaired.
"Swelling, bubbling and surface rupture has occurred and the airstrip is now closed indefinitely," Cr Holness said.
"Road access to Kowanyama is now cut due to swollen waterways. Consequently, air traffic is our only access and exit for the community for the duration of the wet season.
"Kowanyama is serviced by the Royal Flying Doctor Service and residents depend on that service."
Cairns police Acting Supt Rhys Newton said there had been no reported injuries in the cyclone with power blackouts across the region causing major issues yesterday as crews were unable to access the isolated location.
He said Weipa airport was open, but flights had struggled to make it through the poor weather to get there. Power was cut in Napranum, Mapoon and Aurukun, with phone lines down in Lockhart River.
Liz Norman from the Pormpuraaw post office said the heavy rain had caused some localised flooding.
"It was very heavy last night and the wind gusts, but nothing was damaged, thank God," she said.
Kowanyama resident Noel Hardy said the wind had gusted hard for three hours as the cyclone crossed the coast, but had settled down somewhat yesterday.
"It was really nothing out of the ordinary, the place is in the same state as it always is," he said.
"No one came in (to my shop) with any report of damage. It was just the same old Kowanyama as usual."
Heavy rainfall continued to plague the Far North due to the former Oswald system and a second low pressure system southeast of Cairns. The weather bureau had said the coastbetween Cooktown and Bowen would be the worst affected.
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Dual purposes: While many enjoy the rain, from farmers to kids on holidays, others are battling the effects of swollen rivers and lost access, and the Fire and Rescue Service is on alert.