Tropical Cyclone Tiffany will sweep over Far North Queensland two days after devastating flooding elsewhere in the state left a man dead and a teenage girl missing.
People between Cape Tribulation and Coen, including Cooktown, are being urged to prepare as quickly as possible and get ready to shelter in a safe place.
A tropical low that whipped up over the Coral Sea at the weekend was upgraded to a tropical cyclone on Sunday as it approached the Cape York Peninsula.
The Bureau of Meteorology says Tiffany has now strengthened to a category two cyclone, with sustained winds near the centre of 95 kilometres per hour with damaging gusts of up to 130 kilometres per hour.
Residents in Tiffany’s path are being told to brace themselves for widespread rainfall of between 100mm and 150mm on Monday through to Tuesday, with isolated falls of 200mm to 250mm possible.
People between Cape Grenville and Coen, including Lockhart River, and Mapoon to Gilbert River Mouth should take precautions and listen to the next advice, which the weather bureau is due to issue about 8am on Monday.
Tiffany was expected to make landfall between Cooktown and Lockhart River early on Monday morning, with the timing dependent on whether the cyclone moves south or north of Cape Melville.
The weather bureau says Tiffany will weaken slightly over land but may maintain tropical cyclone strength as it moves westward across the cape.
The system is then expected to move into the Gulf of Carpentaria on Tuesday and re-intensify quickly as it moves towards the Northern Territory coast.
A severe tropical cyclone coastal impact on the Northern Territory coast is possible on Wednesday or Thursday.
Tiffany will hit the coast just two days after flooding north of Brisbane washed away highways and killed a 22-year-old man who became trapped in a submerged vehicle after it was swept off a road.
The Wide Bay and Burnett, Fraser Coast and Gympie regions have been badly affected by a deluge from ex-tropical cyclone Seth that saw more than 600mm of rainfall in some areas.
Police spent the weekend searching for a 14-year-old girl who is feared caught in floodwaters after the car she was in was swept away at Booubyjan and her companion, a 40-year-old man, was found clinging to a tree.
On Sunday afternoon the Maryborough central business district was evacuated after Fraser Coast Council warned residents the town’s flood levee gates had been damaged.
“As a result, the CBD will now bear the full impact of the flood. Police are providing assistance with the emergency evacuation and we urge people to stay out of the CBD,” the council wrote on social media.
The town was hit by major flooding on the Mary River, which peaked at just below 10m on Sunday evening and was beginning to ease on Monday morning.