Australia

'Ferocious' Cyclone Trevor heads on to the Northern Territory

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Tropical Cyclone Trevor has lashed towns in north Queensland with powerful winds and bucketed rain as it moves towards the Northern Territory.

Tropical cyclone Trevor has caused chaos in some north Queensland communities as it barrels towards the Northern Territory.

Communities were in lockdown on Tuesday and roads and schools closed as the category three tropical storm made landfall just south of Lockhart River.

Hundreds of people there had braced for 220km/h winds and emergency services crews were on the ground at towns in the storm's path.

The storm has weakened to a category two system as it crosses the Cape York Peninsula, with warnings cancelled in some areas, but it's expected to re-intensify on its way towards the Northern Territory.

The cyclone is expected to cause high tides along the coast north of Port Douglas and dump hundreds of millimetres of rain.

Warnings are in place for Orford Ness to Cape Flattery, extending across the Cape York Peninsula to Pormpuraaw and Mapoon, including Weipa and Coen.

Additional emergency crews, including specialist swift water rescue firefighters, have already been deployed to the region.

The clean up is now beginning in the communities of Lockhart River and Coen.

Trevor began ripping through the region late on Tuesday, as a category three storm, dumping 300mm of rain and recording wind gusts of more than 133km/h.

Lockhart River Mayor Wayne Butcher said Trevor was the worst he had endured.

"It was ferocious - the wind was just constant between 4pm and midnight," he told AAP.

"This was probably the worst one ... this one basically sat near the community and hounded us for hours.

"I've got a timber house and I could feel it shaking."

Cr Butcher said initial reports suggested no major infrastructure damage. 'We've got a few trees across houses and a few sheds have gone flying," he said.

Ergon Energy is returning power to hundreds of homes after a total of 460 customers lost power because of the cyclone.

Weather bureau meteorologist Lauren Pattie said the storm was expected to move towards the Northern Territory on Saturday and Sunday.

However Ms Pattie said it could stall and move back towards Queensland next week.

"It's a little to early to say how strong that system will be when it comes, but we are likely to see an increase in shower and storm activity for the southern part of Queensland," Ms Pattie said.

She said any rains could be welcome news to farmers struggling with drought.

"At this stage we aren't expecting any particularly significant rainfall totals, but that area is quite dry at the moment, I'm sure any rainfall will be welcome," Ms Pattie said.

The cyclone warning for the east coast has been cancelled, but the danger is not entirely over, with fresh risks of flooding.

A moderate flood warning remains in place for the Daintree River, with a general flood warning for the Mossman River.

Roads and schools remain closed across the cape and residents are reminded not to risk driving on flooded roads, and to be careful of wildlife.

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