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Qld Cyclone Kimi weakens to tropical low

Cyclone Kimi has weakened to a tropical low off north Queensland but authorities are warning of possible flooding and another cyclone which could form as early as next week.

Coastal residents have been spared the worst after Kimi weakened from a category two system to a storm sitting northeast of Townsville.

Wind gusts of up to 95km/h will still bring heavy downpours to the region, with a flood warning for rivers between Innisfail and Bowen, into Wednesday, the Bureau of Meteorology says.

“But we’re not expecting the system to have any significant cyclone impact on the Queensland coast in the days ahead,” meteorologist Rosa Hoff said on Tuesday.

“However heavy rainfall does remain a risk with the chance of heavy falls between Innisfail and Proserpine.”

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Assistant Commissioner John Bolger says people should remain vigilant.

“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.

“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.”

Mr Bolger said swift water rescue crews, helicopters and flood boats were standing by.

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

Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski is also urging people to take heavy rain and flood warnings seriously.

“Can I remind everyone that we already only in January in a La Nina year, we are expecting wet weather for a protracted period,” he said.

“People need to listen to the messaging, they need to do the right thing and stop putting themselves at risk, so if it’s flooded, forget it.”

Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster David Grant said the risk could intensify with a monsoon trough possibly hitting the region over the weekend and next week.

He also said it was possible another cyclone could form in the next two weeks.

“We just have to be mindful that Mother Nature hasn’t quite turned the tap off just yet,” Mr Grant told reporters.

“There could be further rainfall around the state’s far north and the east in the coming week, and yeah, we may be talking about cyclones once again sometime in the next week or two.”

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