FRASER COAST SHOPS: Business shut early for storm
STRONG winds and wet weather are forcing some businesses along the Esplanade to shut early, as the effects of Cyclone Debbie continue to be felt across the region.
Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart urged businesses across Queensland to consider shutting as early as noon, as reports of up to 400mm of rain is expected to pelt areas of southeast Queensland.
Fraser Coast schools were shut earlier today as part of a blanket closure across Queensland.
The warning is being picked up by a number of businesses, with Aquavue Cafe owner Larry Burch already packing up the cafe as waves continue to crash.
Mr Burch told the Chronicle the waves were higher than 4m earlier today.
"We'll make sure we're shut by lunchtime, just in case," he said.
"Technically the tide is on its way back out, but the waves still haven't slacked off yet.
Cobbers Cafe owner Tracey McKenzie is on a similar page, having seen the state of the wind in the area and noticed the decreased level of foot traffic on the Esplanade.
But she said she'd play the opening hours "by ear for the time being."
"There are some pretty big waves for Hervey Bay - the tide's come in pretty quickly," she said.
"But it's not a king tide, so I'm pretty confident we won't have any issues."
XPRES IGA Torquay owner Graham Sewell said his store would remain open, with the store having "no issue with the weather."
Scarness Foodworks owner Angela Baker also said she was playing the opening hours by ear to see if anything "immediate" would happen.
Stockland Hervey Bay closed at 3pm due to the wet weather, with the centre announcing they would reopen at 9am on Friday.
"Some workers have been sent home based on where they live and any concerns they hold for their families," centre manager Paul Davis said.
"We're just monitoring the situation and making sure it's safe."