THE CENTRAL and north Queensland coast has been battered with wild weather over the past days, with some shipping affected.

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe weather warning for the coast between Ayr and Carmila, which includes Mackay, Hay Point and Bowen.

The BOM says to expect heavy rainfall, which may lead to flash flooding along the Queensland central coast. Six-hourly rainfall totals between 200 and 250 millimetres are possible.

The bureau has issued marine wind warnings for the Townsville coast and the Mackay coast for today (17 January). Those two warnings will remain current for Wednesday, with the addition of the Cairns coast.

According to a spokesperson for Maritime Safety Queensland, the Port of Abbot Point was reopened at midday today after being closed at 2.00 pm on Monday (16 January) due to flooded roads preventing access to the port for port personnel, and rainfall preventing coal from being loaded.

“The Port of Hay Point remains open, however coal loading operations are suspended due to heavy rainfall on shoreside stockpiles and ships remain at anchor until coal loading restarts. The Ports of Mackay, Townsville and Lucinda are open.”

The MSQ spokesperson said regional harbour masters are closely monitoring conditions and keeping port stakeholders up to date.

“The harbour master has reopened the port and we expect to recommence loading again this afternoon,” an Abbot Point operations spokesperson told DCN.

North Queensland Bulk Ports, which oversees operations at Mackay, Abbot Point and Hay Point, told DCN, “Given the location of NQBP’s ports in northern Australia we have comprehensive and well tested cyclone and adverse weather preparedness plans in place.”

And a spokesperson for the Port of Townsville said it has remained open and its “business as usual”.

“Some minor delays may have been experienced loading and unloading vessels; however, there have been no significant delays in shipping movements,” the spokesperson said.

Floods in the area are also impacting overland freight transport.