White sand covers the interior of the A-frame beach house at West Bay on Middle Percy Island.
White sand covers the interior of the A-frame beach house at West Bay on Middle Percy Island. Contributed

Residents on Middle Percy Island clean-up after cyclone

CYCLONE Marcia has come and gone, but it left four residents on Middle Percy Island with a massive clean-up job.

A Bureau of Meteorology spokesman said the eye of the cyclone passed about 20km to the east of the island and wind gusts of 208kmh were recorded.

One of the residents, who wanted to be known only as John, said 99.9% of the damage was to foliage.

"The trees have been brutalised," he said.

"All buildings got off lightly, we lost roofs from a couple of old sheds around the place and there is a bit of broken glass.

John and two other people hunkered down and rode out the cyclone under the homestead.

The fourth person stayed on his yacht in a sheltered lagoon on the west side of the island and emerged unscathed.

"We attached sheets of ply to posts and made a small cubby hole," John said.

"The biggest impost to us was the roads and tracks being impassable, with large boughs and tree trunks coming down over them.

"We have started clearing the main road from the top and some National Parks people have been clearing from the beach."

The National Parks team arrived from the Whitsundays on Tuesday and is expected to leave tomorrow.

"We expect to meet up with them late today or in the morning," John said yesterday.

"We haven't seen them yet, but we must be close because we can hear their chainsaws.

"Apparently they have some food for us, which we will not get until we meet up.

"We are always very well fixed for food. We grow a lot of our own, but the gardens took a hammering."

"Because the cyclone struck at low tide there was not as much damage to the beaches. At West Bay, when the wind came, it blew the sand off the beach and the area looks like it has had a snowstorm.

"It has been top-dressed with white sand."

John said the homestead fared well following improvements and cyclone-proofing.



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