Cyclone moves south-west of Gladstone
UPDATE 7.15PM: Tropical Cyclone Marcia is now 60km south-west of Gladstone and 35km north-east of Biloela, moving at 19km/h.
The category 2 system is continuing to move south over the Capricornia district while weakening.
The cyclone is expected to turn to the south-southeast this evening, and weaken below cyclone strength early on Saturday morning.
The core of the cyclone, with gusts to 150 km/h, is to the south-west of Gladstone.
Destructive winds may be experienced at Biloela during the next couple of hours.
Ergon Energy has advised its crews have started restoring power now that conditions have improved more quickly that expected.
They are assessing damage and making things safe where possible.
Community facilities including water, sewerage, hospitals, nursing homes, police, fire, ambulance and education facilities will be a priority, followed by large shopping centres and residences.
Gladstone council has advised a tree is across Awoonga Dam Rd about 300m from the intersection with the Bruce Highway.
SES volunteers will attend.
A fallen tree across Aerodrome Road in Gladstone has been removed.
If you'd like to keep up with what's happening in Rockhampton and Yeppoon, our sister site The Morning Bulletin is all over it.
UPDATE 6.40PM: Just to recap, here's how the day unfolded:
UPDATE 6.20PM: Readers report that there are very strong winds at Benaraby.
Neree Skinner said she was getting blown away at Benaraby.
Nicole Crisp said the power had just gone out in Kirkwood.
Corynne James reports big wind gusts at Barney Point.
Adam Peters at Calliope said: "Not as noisy, a little bit brighter and it's stopped raining (for now)."
Myra Wilson has shared this video of Boyne Island at about 6pm:
UPDATE 6PM: The destructive core of Tropical Cyclone Marcia, with gusts to 155km/h, is just to the west of Gladstone and continuing to move southwards.
It is now a category 2 cyclone.
Destructive winds may be experienced at Biloela during the next couple of hours.
Abnormally high tides will be experienced between Gladstone and Double Island Point, with water levels expected to rise substantially above the highest tide of the year on the high tide, even though the cyclone is inland.
Road blocked at Yarwun
Gladstone Regional Council has advised that a fallen tree is blocking Calliope River Rd at Yarwun.
Council workers will clear it.
UPDATE 5.40PM: Here are a few pics from around Gladstone:
UPDATE 5.10PM Cyclone Marcia has weakened to a category 2 cyclone with winds gusts to 155km/h.
It is 60km west of Gladstone and 65km north north-east of Biloela, moving at 18km/h.
It is expected to turn south south-east this evening.
The core is continuing to move south. Destructive winds may be experienced at Biloela during the next couple of hours.
Heavy rainfall is already occurring about coastal and adjacent inland areas between Gladstone and Double Island Point, and is expected to continue tonight and Saturday morning as the cyclone moves south.
Gladstone has received 48mm of rain since 9am, with 48mm at Boyne Island and 67mm at Benaraby.
Gladstone port remains closed.
UPDATE 4.50PM: All Caltex retail sites and depots in the Gladstone region are closed or being closed as Cyclone Marcia moves to the south-west of Gladstone.
The cyclone has now rattled Rockhampton, leaving homes without their roofs and downing trees and powerlines.
Marcia is now tracking towards Biloela as a category three and could arrive there as a high category two later this evening.
At 4.30pm the Awoonga Dam level was 40.15m, which is 150mm below the level at which Pikes Crossing is cut.
However, Gladstone council warns the cyclone is dumping heavy rainfall currently north-west of Calliope and will head towards the Awoonga catchment in the coming hours.
UPDATE 4PM: Tropical Cyclone Marcia is 60km west of Gladstone and 50km south south-east of Rockhamtpon, moving south at 20km/h.
WInds near the centre are 120km/h with gusts up to 165km/h.
Gladstone council reports the cyclone is passing Mt Larcom.
UPDATE 3.30PM: Almost 50,000 customers, including 2000 in Gladstone, have had their power supply interrupted as a result of the gales associated with Cyclone Marcia as it has moved through central Queensland today.
A short time ago, about 33,500 customers in the Rockhampton depot area, 13,500 in the Yeppoon area and about 2000 in Gladstone had had their power supply interrupted since 8am as Cyclone Marcia made landfall near Shoalwater Bay and tracked south.
Ergon Energy says that due to the continuing strong wind and unfavourable conditions, it is unlikely any power restoration work will be undertaken today because the current conditions mean it is unsafe for crews to be in the field.
Disaster meeting cancelled
GLADSTONE Regional Disaster Management Group has cancelled a meeting because the risk was deemed too high.
Mayor Gail Sellers said the meeting, set to take place at 3pm, would be rescheduled for tomorrow morning to assess the damage and for all emergency services to report incidents.
"We're asking people not to travel on the roads, so we haven't asked our people to do it either," she said.
UPDATE 3.15PM: Tropical Cyclone Marcia is continuing to move south as a category 3 cyclone and slowly weaken.
The eye of the storm is now 70km west north-west of Gladstone.
The cyclone is expected to turn to the south-southeast this evening, and weaken below cyclone strength on Saturday morning.
Winds of 160km/h are still expected in Gladstone.
Meanwhile in Yeppoon...
UPDATE 2.45PM: Nathan Bedford has sent in this great panoramic shot of the Boyne Esplanade:
And here are some comments from people in different areas across the region, of what things are like at the moment:
Shannon Peart, Dart's Creek: "The noise of the wind is unreal. We are trying to stay away from the windows.
"Branches are down, trees are being blown sideways"
Fiona Russell, Bracewell: "It's super windy now. Huge big gusts. We have barricaded our roller door in the hope it doesn't give way."
Wendy Roscoe, Clinton: "Just opened front door, got blown back a step. Cat was blown back a few steps!
"Wind is billowing through the house through gaps in door jams and it almost sounds like a freight train at times."
UPDATE 2.15PM: Cyclone Marcia is now 90km north northwest of Gladstone, moving south at 19km/h.
Winds near the centre are 150km/h, with gusts up to 205km/h.
The cyclone has been downgraded to category 3, and is expected to remain at that level as it passes to the west of Gladstone.
The bureau predicts the cyclone will turn to the south south-east this evening.
It is currently moving over Rockhampton.
Gladstone Mayor Gail Sellers has advised all residents to avoid unnecessary travel, and to stay off the roads if possible.
Power is out in Kent and Flinders Sts, West Gladstone, in Bracewell, off Mt Larcom-Bracewell Rd, and at Dart's Creek.
2PM: Gladstone SES headquarters has just been shut down and volunteers sent home until the cyclone has passed.
Group Leader Robert Deflorian has headed into a meeting with the Gladstone Regional Council and moved his operation to the Gladstone Entertainment Centre.
He said the SES centre would likely open again tomorrow morning between 6.30-7am.
Tropical Cyclone Marcia is now weakening since crossing the Queensland coast, with the Bureau of Meteorology downgrading it to a category three.
At 1pm, Marcia was maintaining winds near the centre of 150 kilometres per hour with wind gusts to 205 kilometres per hour.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the eye of Cyclone Marcia was now heading directly for Rockhampton.
"The eye of this storm is heading directly towards you," she said.
"Do not be on the streets, do not be outside."
Tree crashes into yard
BERNADINE Ganter's first cyclone experience started early when a large tree in front of her Dalrymple Drive, Toolooa home came crashing down on Thursday night.
Mrs Ganter was in the bathroom when she heard a loud bang about 10pm.
"At first I thought it was a car crashing into the front yard because that's happened here before," Mrs Ganter said.
"I've never been in a cyclone before."
She's lived in Gladstone for 11 years after moving from Toowoomba and was caught up in the 2011 floods.
"I am a bit nervous," she said.
Because the tree fell hours before cyclone Marcia was expected to cross the coast on Friday morning emergency services weren't able to come and cut it up.
But Mrs Ganter said Energex came to cut the branches away from power lines to make sure her house was safe.
Fortunately there was minimal damage to her timber home because the tree had fallen on the edge of the gutter instead of through the roof.
"I've asked the department of housing to cut the tree down a few times because I am pretty sure it's dead."
Curtis Island work cancelled
Regular scheduled night shift work for the three Curtis Island projects has been cancelled for tonight.
Day work has also been cancelled for Saturday.
Bechtel advises some employees may be required for support services and will be contacted directly by their supervisor.