* Cyclone Charlotte hits Queensland
* Gale force winds, flooding expected
* Residents told to prepare emergency kits

Aus Cyclone
© BOMCyclone Charlotte ... hitting the coast of North Queensland this morning

Tropical Cyclone Charlotte has crossed the coast in far north Queensland, bringing heavy rain and damaging winds to the area.

The Bureau of Meteorology said Charlotte made land at about 4am (AEST) near the mouth of the Gilbert River, 305km north-west of Georgetown.

The category one cyclone, Queensland's first of the season, is expected to continue moving east-southeast over land while weakening.

The bureau has warned that gales and damaging winds with gusts to 120 km/h may be experienced between Cape Keer-Weer and Burketown, and extend about 200km inland. Heavy rainfall and flooding are expected in the south-east Gulf country.

Acting Emergency Services Minister Andrew Fraser said that falls of up to 300mm were expected between Cardwell and Mossman.

He said State Emergency Service volunteers in the far north were on standby to deal with floodwaters and other emergencies.

Emergency Management Queensland executive director Frank Pagano said SES and other authorities were well prepared to deal with Charlotte and her aftermath.

Emergency Management Queensland urged residents across the north to prepare an emergency pack with a first-aid kit, torch, battery operated radio, spare batteries, matches, waterproof bags, spare clothing, valuables, canned food and water.

Residents should also board up windows, have timber and tools ready for emergency repairs and fill their cars with fuel, she said. Emergency phone numbers should also be kept handy.

Carpentaria Shire Mayor Les Wilson told the Courier Mail, emergency crews were ready. "We are on the ball here and ready to activate the crews if necessary," he said.

A counter-disaster meeting was planned for this morning to gauge the extent of any damage.

Yesterday, Karumba residents were moving boats out of the local port and securing loose objects while heavy rain and winds hammered the town.

However, tour operator Allison Newton said Karumba residents had survived previous cyclones and remained calm.

"It is very grey and wet here and there is a chance we might get a very high tide," Ms Newton said.

"We are hearing it might get up to 4.8m, which will be interesting.

"The worst part is not knowing what is going to happen."