Cairns did not escape without some damage. Many big trees were felled and a few buildings were flattened. The Botanic Gardens seem to always take the brunt of these cyclones. The gardeners told me that it was not as bad as with Larry, but it was still a mess. Several big trees and palms came down. On the positive side, if there is such a thing with cyclones, it opened the canopy a bit and is letting light in where it had been dark for years. This will accelerate growth for plants in those areas. There was no major damage to buildings.
Curator David Warmington has provided a few photos of the damage cause to the Gardens by Cyclone Yasi.
The Barron River Falls at Kuranda just after the cyclone passed--water and silt heading towards tot ocean---and the Great Barrier Reef. Buck Richardson photo