Cyclone Niran has strengthened into a category 3 system, but the Bureau of Meteorology has cancelled its warning as it moves further away from north Queensland's coast.
Niran churned into a system packing sustained winds of 120km/h with gusts to 165km/h on Thursday morning.
The storm's threat to coastal communities is easing as it moves deeper into the Coral Sea, about 345km northeast of Cairns.
Gale force winds are still expected for offshore waters between Cape Melville and Cardwell.
"The tropical cyclone will adopt a faster east-southeast track during today and accelerate further away from the coast while strengthening," the Bureau of Meteorology said.
"It is likely to reach peak intensity over the Coral Sea during Friday, then gradually weaken as it moves further southeastwards."
A strong wind warning remains in place for the coastal areas of the Cape York Peninsula, Townsville, Mackay, Capricornia and Fraser Island.
Rivers on the Cape York Peninsula north of Cape Melville and Pormpuraaw have been placed on an initial flood watch.
The cyclone has already caused major damage in the far north where multiple banana crops have been wiped out by gale-force winds.
The Australian Banana Growers' Council said while it's too early to estimate the cost of damage, it's clear the bill will be significant for growers around Innisfail and most of the Cassowary Coast region.
"It's another bitter blow to growers who have suffered enormously with consecutive years of low prices and more recently critical worker shortages due to COVID," council chair Stephen Lowe said on Wednesday.
State government teams have been on the ground since Wednesday to assess the damage.
Agriculture minister Mark Furner said property owners can apply for financial support.
"As we go through the federal government's required assessment process, my department right now has (Individual Disaster Stricken Property) declarations activated that mean producers can access up to $5000 for freight costs and low-interest loans up to $250,000," he said.
SES teams earlier this week had to deal with damaged roofs and downed trees, and there were reports of minor structural damage to sheds and outbuildings in the Cairns area.
Australian Associated Press