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Ex-Tropical Cyclone Seth moves towards land with wild weather causing dangerous ocean conditions, beach closures

Tuesday January 4, 2022 - 02:25 AEDT
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Beaches on the Gold Coast are closed again today. - ABC

Beaches at Queensland's most popular holiday destinations are shut again today as ex-Tropical Cyclone Seth moves closer to land.

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a hazardous surf warning for the Fraser Island Coast, Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast waters. 

Beaches along the Gold and Sunshine coasts will remain closed due to dangerous ocean conditions, despite "considerably less swell".

Very high tides are again set to plague the south-east, with warnings in place for the Wide Bay region to northern New South Wales, including the seaward sides of Fraser, Moreton, North Stradbroke and South Stradbroke islands.

Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) senior forecaster Harry Clark said coastal areas from the Wide Bay to the NSW north coast are receiving abnormally high tides today.

"We are going to see some tides pretty much as high as you will see them, particularly on that morning high tide," Mr Clark said.

"If you're in a low-lying area particularly susceptible to flooding, consider moving your car or anything else you have got stored there."

Gale-force wind warnings are in place for the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast waters today, as well as a strong wind warning for the Fraser Coast.

"Mostly those gales will be confined to offshore paths, but it's definitely still going to be breezy along the coast," he said.

"[There are] also some weather warnings for damaging winds around elevated parts of the Gold Coast hinterland and with some fairly brisk southerlies moving through that part of the world at the moment."

Beaches closed to walkers, swimmers

Gold Coast chief lifeguard Chris Maynard said the swell had dropped "considerably" from yesterday, but said city lifeguards would keep beaches closed.

"The sun's shining and the strong winds are still evident ? but still a 2.5-metre swell and quite solid conditions are too dangerous for us to open the beaches today," he said.

Mr Maynard also urged tourists and locals to avoid walking on the beach when the tide is high.

"It's too dangerous to be walking along those beach areas with these big surges with the swell," he said.

"We're advising all visitors and locals to stay off the water's edge there as there is an increased risk of getting washed off quite easily."

A 2.1-metre high tide peaked on the Gold Coast around 9:30am.

Mr Maynard said the point breaks such as Snapper Rocks and Kirra offered optimal conditions for surfing, but only for experienced boardriders.

"If you're inexperienced, please don't enter the water," he said. 

"Hopefully, conditions improve throughout the day and we'll look at beaches again tomorrow."

Clean-up pending as system moves towards land

Since Saturday, the Gold Coast City Council has handed out more than 900 sandbags to help businesses and locals shore up against inundation.

Escarping has carved out steep slopes on popular beaches such as Burleigh and Tallebudgera, while big surges have left large debris on shorelines.

A Gold Coast City Council spokesperson said the clean-up would begin "when [it's] safe".

Mr Clark said that, while the weather system was not particularly strong any more, it was still affecting the "pressure gradient" and bringing high winds.

He said that, while the system was slowly moving west, over the next two days it could adopt a "north-westerly track" as it weakens.

He said it was likely to cross the coastline between Brisbane and Bundaberg on Thursday.

"With that, we will see an increase in shower activity as well, " he said.

"Thursday and Friday could be quite showery, depending on exactly where ex-Tropical Cyclone Seth moves."


© ABC 2022

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