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Cyclone Debbie puts Airlie Beach on the map

The world knows who and what Airlie Beach is after the devastation of Cyclone Debbie subsided. Unfortunately for Airlie Beach, the small tourist town on the east coast of Australia, it was made known world-wide after dealing with and surviving the eye of a category 4 cyclone that passed through the area on 28 March 2017.

As the world watched from abroad, the small town suffered through 250 km/h winds, strong ocean waves, flooding, rain and flying debris. After losing power, water and several windows and doors in the area, eventually the storm passed and Airlie Beach was left to pick up the pieces, while the world again, watched from abroad.

Cyclone Debbie, which began as an offshore tropical storm, quickly gained momentum and was upgraded to a cyclone. It eventually hit land, storming through the Whitsunday Islands and Airlie Beach before dissipating somewhere inland. News channels and newspapers from all over the world sat by, anticipating the worst, but hoping for the best, making Airlie Beach a household name. Phone lines went down and many people in the area were left without the ability to communicate with the outside world, making the world-wide coverage even more suspenseful than before.

Airlie Beach is now known as the town that not only survived the category 4 cyclone, but also for thriving after it. Within days facilities were up and running, as were most charter boats, which began operating almost immediately after the cyclone hit. The community, which battled through the storm together, quickly came together to put the town back to it’s normal, beautiful self, in order to welcome guests from all over the world back into its folds. Airlie Beach may have become a household name for getting hit by a cyclone, but it will remain a household name for its resilience, sense of community and heart.

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