Swift water rescue teams move south ahead of cyclone

SWIFT water rescue teams deployed to North Queensland are moving south ahead of Tropical Cyclone Dylan which is expected to cross the coast between Lucinda and Proserpine early Friday.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Swift Water Rescue Team leader Nigel Kane pleaded with residents and business owners to be prepared.

"The key message is if it is flooded, forget it,'' he said, urging people not to take risks by trying to walk or drive into floodwaters.

"Making an incorrect decision not only jeopardises their life but puts us in danger as well,'' Mr Kane said of his crews.

Swift Water Rescue crews had been deployed in Cairns but on Thursday were being moved to Bowen ahead of the cyclone.

The weather bureau said the cyclone and a strong ridge of high pressure further south were combining to generate gales at times along much of the east coast between Cardwell and St Lawrence.

"Winds are expected to increase further between Lucinda and St Lawrence, particularly about the Central Coast and Whitsundays district, during the remainder of today and extending to adjacent inland areas on Friday morning
with damaging wind gusts to 120 kilometres per hour possible,'' the bureau warned on Thursday afternoon.

Mr Kane said a rescue team had been monitoring the impact in Townsville at high tide.

He said people were generally relaxed with many north Queenslanders accustomed to wild weather and cyclone warnings.

"(We are) pushing teams down south of where it may hit in preparation for tomorrow morning.''