Shute Harbour as Cyclone Dylan moves in.
Shute Harbour as Cyclone Dylan moves in.

Cyclone Dylan a cruel twist of evil wind and blessed rain

THE fury of Cyclone Dylan could be Queensland's nightmare and its salvation.

The category one system named at lunchtime on Thursday is - according to Premier Campbell Newman - to have crossed the coast near Ayr between Proserpine and Townsville before dawn tomorrow.

Those south of the forecast epicentre, including Bowen, Proserpine, Mackay and the Whitsundays, are expecting 120kmh winds and up to 500mm of rain by Saturday night.

The northern end of the Bowen Basin coal provinces west of Mackay is frozen after freight giant Aurizon halted the trains that service more than 33 coal mines.

The coal ports of Abbot Point and Hay Point, which includes Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal, have stopped loading since being put on cyclone footing

At least 43 coal-carrying ships are moored off the coastline, unable to be loaded with coal until after Dylan passes.

As the Queensland mining industry prepares for the worst, their farming peers are hopeful.

Almost 70% of the state remains in drought and Dylan is expect to drag between 50mm and 100mm of rain inland as it rambles through the Central Highlands and coalfields before reaching the parched outback towns of Winton, Longreach and Hughenden in the west.

AgForce Queensland vice president Ian Burnett said even if Dylan does not break the drought, its rain will help.

"Any rain will be beneficial, whether it's a drought breaker will depend on how much and what follow up rain will occur," he said.

"For grazing and grain, certainly (the rain) will be at the right time for them.

"They've been hanging out for some rain in a lot of areas for up to two years."

For those needing help with flooding, contact Queensland SES on 132 500.

In case of emergency, phone 000.