Queenslanders are waking up to a huge clean up following the "monster" cyclone Debbie, as the now ex-tropical cyclone still brings heavy rain as it works its way through the state.
By
Stefan Armbruster, NITV Staff Writer

29 Mar 2017 - 8:24 AM  UPDATED 29 Mar 2017 - 2:51 PM

The Bureau of Meteorology downgraded Cyclone Debbie to a tropical low but weather conditions remain severe.

Airlie Beach, Proserpine and Bowen bore the brunt of a category four Debbie packing 260km/h winds when it crossed the coast on Tuesday.

"I've just been advised that all the roads have been cut off around Bowen, Airlie Beach, Proserpine," the premier told ABC television on Wednesday.

Andrew Willcox, the mayor of Whitsunday Regional Council, has been driving around Bowen to check out Debbie's damage and his initial assessment was not good.

"I'm trying to make sure everyone is OK," he told ABC television.

"It looks like a war zone."

Mr Willcox said he didn't have to go far to see the damage caused by Debbie, which hit the area as a category four cyclone on Tuesday afternoon.

"We have power lines down with awnings ripped off buildings, a lot of signs knocked off," he told Nine Network.

"In Proserpine, a lot of residential damage in there as well."

The premier said there have been few reports of injuries but many are still without communications, so the situation may change.

Some 68,000 homes are without power.

"Power remains a big issue and of course the debris on the roads, we need to clear those roads, get emergency services there," she said.

'Like a fighter jet'

There's been significant damage to homes with roofs lying in yards in Airlie Beach.

Airlie Beach local Troy Weller told SBS the entire experience "was very scary" for his wife and two young children.

"We bunkered down, made a bit of fun with the kids, built a bit of a shelter room in the bedroom, so that was good that kept us nice and safe," Mr Weller said.

"The sheer noise of it was just amazing. I've heard people before say it's the sound of a freight train, but it was like a fighter jet firing up," he added.

"It was just constant, you know, there was really no break in that noise.

"There were periods when we came outside, my wife and I, just to have a look at what was happening. We had a bit of damage around our house. Structurally-wise the house was fine, but all of our fences (were damaged).

"We live in an area with a lot of gum trees, so a lot of the gum trees and those kind of things have come down (and) made a bit of a mess around the place."

Mr Weller said other locals suffered far greater damage.

"We were talking to a friend that we know locally here and they lost their roof, so he said that was one of the most frightening experiences he's had in his life," he explained.

Mr Weller, who works at the Airlie Beach Woolworths, said the community ensured there were enough supplies to weather the aftermath.

"We did a lot of preparations to get this all right, to make sure that stock and that type of thing would be ready for the recovery, so that people can get food and get their shelves stocked again," he said.

"My understanding is that Woolworths will try and open tomorrow morning."