Tropical Cyclone Imogen delivers falls of more than 200mm to Queensland Gulf communities

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a sign on the side of a building: Damage sustained to the Les Wilson Barramundi Discovery Centre in Karumba. (Supplied: Carpentaria Shire Council)

Damage sustained to the Les Wilson Barramundi Discovery Centre in Karumba. (Supplied: Carpentaria Shire Council)

More than 1,000 people have been without power in Queensland's Gulf of Carpentaria since 3:00 pm on Sunday after Tropical Cyclone Imogen traveled through the region overnight.

TC Imogen crossed land just north of Karumba at about 9:00 pm, dumping plenty of rain on townships.

Normanton Airport recorded 259 millimetres, with 186mm of that falling in just three hours.

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Ricus Lombard said TC Imogen was expected to be downgraded from a cyclone today.

"Currently [TC Imogen] is still sitting in that marginal, low end of Cat [Category] 1 so it is still continuing as a Cat 1, but expected to ease off as we go through the morning into the afternoon," he said.

"Given that it's a Cat 1 there's a significant amount of rainfall that's associated — that probably being the main concern with this system."

Mr. Lombard said rainfall was not isolated to the Gulf, with areas between Georgetown and Townsville also seeing between 50mm and 90mm of rain overnight.

"We're only going to see this [rainfall] increase," he said.

"We'll have the system ease off during today but continuing as a low, and sort of hinting that it will shift towards the north tropical coast and form into a trough.

"Whatever forms up they're going to be pretty well saturated.

"Definitely increasing the risk for flooding to happen, especially through northern parts, and then once that low sort of approaches the east coast it forms into a coastal trough as well, so very active for the guys up in the north tropical coast and even all the way down the coast to Mackay."

Sweers Island hit by strong gusts

On Sweers Island in the Gulf, Lyn and Tex Battle said the level of wind and rain they experienced on Sunday was unexpected.

Ms. Battle said the rain was very welcome, with 162mm measured at 9:00 am on Sunday morning.

"Our anemometer stopped working but we estimate 50 knots to 70-knot gusts," she said.

"My ham radio antenna is still standing … Tex had to unbolt the pump off the well before it got submerged."

'Not our first rodeo'

Carpentaria Shire Council Mayor Jack Bawden said the region was prepared for the cyclone.

"Once it moves on a bit further in the morning we'll do a bit of a catch-up and check, but I got no calls last night so I would say that everybody was hunkered down and fared okay," Cr Bawden said.

"It's one of those things — what do they say? It's not our first rodeo.

"People tend to be better prepared, and before Christmas, we did a clean-up and awareness and everything so I'm hoping that everything finished up being okay."

Cr Bawden said he expected roads to be cut and the region to be isolated.

"It was quite gusty pretty much all night … I think we got up to about 110 kph gusts, which isn't much but when they're whistling over your roof it sounds a lot," he said.

"There's going to be a lot of water between here and east which is where it's headed — Croydon and Georgetown will be certainly getting the rain off it.

"I'd say in the near future we're just going to be isolated — the roads were close to being cut yesterday going east.

"I think it's still okay to go south to Cloncurry but how long that stays open will be anyone's guess."

He said while the region was always prepared for summer storms and cyclone activity, TC Imogen came earlier than expected.

"We know this happens every year. It's probably a bit earlier this year than we're used to, usually, it's around Easter or end of February," he said.


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