Main Roads Minister Craig Wallace has pleaded with motorists who aren’t evacuating to avoid all non-essential travel in regions bracing for impact from Cyclone Yasi.

Mr Wallace said a large part of the state was readying itself for the cyclone, with areas in Far North Queensland, Northern Queensland and the Mackay/Whitsundays most at risk from torrential rain, extreme winds and flash flooding.

“I urge people who aren’t evacuating to put off all non-essential travel on the roads to ensure the routes are clear for evacuees, police, road crews and emergency vehicles,” he said.

“I can’t make it any clearer – if you don’t need to be out on the roads, stay home and stay safe.”

“The recent extreme flooding which impacted nearly 75 percent of the state has already taken a tragic toll and we need to do everything we can not to add to that.”

”Mr Wallace said the focus tonight and tomorrow and the days following would remain on response and recovery where possible.

“We expect damage to the transport network resulting in extensive road closures however our crews are on standby to conduct emergency repairs as soon as they can get out and about.”

Mr Wallace said the latest bout of extreme weather would exacerbate the significant and widespread damage to roads across the state and he urged Queenslanders to take care on the roads.

“If you do need to travel, please pay special attention to road closure signage and don’t attempt to cross closed or flooded roads, bridges or causeways,” he said.

“Floodwaters are dangerous and deadly – even shallow, quick-flowing water is strong enough to sweep a person off their feet or a vehicle into flood waters.

“Crossing a flooded road is simply not worth it – staying safe is the best gift you can give your loved ones.”

”Mr Wallace said travellers should also take enough food, water and bedding in case they become stranded by floodwaters.

“If you must travel, please listen to weather updates and road reports on local radio, visit or ring 131940 to plan your trip and see if there are other routes available.”

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