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Whitsunday Regional Council has partnered with the Cyclone Testing Station (CTS) at James Cook University (JCU) to install a series of anchors designed to attach a wind speed measuring device should a cyclone be predicted to make landfall.
Mayor Andrew Willcox said that representatives from JCU’s CTS are visiting the region this week to install the anchors as part of its SWIRLnet project.
“Council has assisted in identifying eight different locations on Council-owned land across the region to install the anchor points,” Cr Willcox said.
“Gaining accurate, real time wind speed data will allow us to be better informed and have a better understanding of the impact on our communities,” he said.
“The measurements will also determine the impact on housing and this data can then be used to improve building standards and assist in researching peak wind gusts across the different terrains that we have in the region.”
Director of JCU’s Cyclone Testing Station, Dr David Henderson, is appreciative that Whitsunday Regional Council is collaborating on the project as part of the CTS roll out of the anchor locations across North Queensland.
“Currently, there is limited information on the numbers and magnitudes of the gusts and peaks in the winds that our houses are subjected to during a cyclone,” Dr Henderson said.
“Our SWIRLnet anemometers are designed to measure these winds at house height in our towns as opposed to official 10m tall towers at airports. Our houses are where we shelter (if not in a storm tide zone), so they have to be up to the task,” he said.
“The SWIRLnet towers will be installed at the anchor points approximately 24 hours prior to a forecast cyclone landfall. The data will then be transmitted during the event to the Queensland Government and Council to assist with their planning.
For further information on the JCU Cyclone Testing Station and the SWIRLnet project, visit https://cyclonetestingstation.com.au/.
This project is being supported by the Queensland Government’s Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning.