Cyclone Yasi (pictured above) is one of the biggest to have hit the Queensland coast.
Cyclone Yasi (pictured above) is one of the biggest to have hit the Queensland coast. www.goes.noaa.gov

Five cyclones that devastated Queensland

AS Queensland braces for Cyclone Debbie it's worth remembering we've been through this before and we've always bounced back. 

That said the state's history of being hit by tropical cyclones is harrowing, terrifying and fascinating.

Below we've drawn together five of the biggest system ever to cross the Queensland coast.  

Flood waters surged through 198 Kerrigan St during cyclone Marcia.
Flood waters surged through 198 Kerrigan St during cyclone Marcia.

Just more than two years ago Marcia slammed into the Queensland coast to the north of Rockhampton. 

The system led to widespread property damage and more than 10,000 insurance claims in Yeppoon, Biloela and Rockhampton, the areas struck directly by the Category Five system.

The cyclone also toppled trees, led to widespread flooding and left many homes without power for seven to nine days.

2. Cyclone Yasi, February 3, 2011

As the Bureau of Meteorology puts it: "Yasi is one of the most powerful cyclones to have affected Queensland since records commenced."

"Previous cyclones of a comparable measured intensity include the 1899 cyclone Mahina in Princess Charlotte Bay, and the two cyclones of 1918 at Mackay (January) and Innisfail (March)."

3. Cyclone Larry, March 20, 2006

Cyclone Larry cross the Queensland coast to the south of Cairns in March 2006 and caused more than $500 million worth of damage. 

Image from the Bureau of Meteorology
Image from the Bureau of Meteorology

When it hit the system was a classed as a Category 3 cyclone. 

The system unleashed hurricane force winds peaking at 56 metres a second - 110 knots. 

The eye of the cyclone made landfall near Innisfail about dawn on Monday March 20. 

4. Cyclone Winifred, February 5, 1986

Cyclone Winifred claimed three lives, unleashed winds in excess of 176km/h and brought rainfall in excess of 300mm at the towns of Ravenhoe and Topaz. 

At the time Winifred produced the most disastrous effects on the Queensland coast of any tropical cyclone since Althea in 1971 - according to the BOM. 

Image from the Bureau of Meteorology
Image from the Bureau of Meteorology

And the estimated cost of the damage was between $130 and $150 million. 

5. The Great Gold Coast Cyclone, February 1954

This cyclone came at a time when forecasting was far more primitive than it is today.   

It swiped the Sunshine Coast and the Nambour Chronicle at the time reported widespread damage to roads, power lines, crops and trees.   

Indeed the system made its way so far south it even led to heavy rainfall in Sydney and Tasmania. 

The Bureau of Meteorology reports between 26 to 30 people died as a result of the flooding, severe winds and storm surges.

And the ABC states a wall of water moved down the Richmond River causing the river to swell to 11km wide and drowning one man who was part of a rescue team sent to save a seven year old boy. 

News Corp Australia


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