Department of the Chief Minister
Severe Tropical Cyclone Owen – UPDATE #11
14 December 2018
Issued at: 0935hrs CST
Severe Tropical Cyclone Owen maintained Category 3 system strength as it slowly tracks northeast out of the Northern Territory and towards Queensland this morning.
The system started moving east overnight and out over the water, away from Port McArthur and Borroloola and may increase to Category 4 intensity later today.
A Warning is in place for Port McArthur in the Northern Territory, to Aurukun in Queensland. A Watch is in place for parts of inland Queensland.
“We’d like to thank the community for their cooperation and patience with this unpredictable system,” Regional Controller Travis Wurst said.
“We’ve been pleased with how aware and prepared they’ve been, particularly this early in the Wet Season. Towns which are regularly affected by these types of weather events haven’t been complacent either.”
The public shelters in Borroloola are still open. Around 220 people have made use of the centres since Wednesday. The shelter at Numbulwar was closed yesterday.
Regional Controller Wurst thanked emergency services workers and volunteers for their efforts so far.
“These people have been working hard since the first Watch was issued about 72 hours ago.
“They’ve been keeping Territorians safe in hot, humid and trying conditions around the Gulf of Carpentaria by reassuring the community, assisting with preparations and helping locals evacuate to more secure accommodation.”
Regional Controller Wurst advised people to follow all directions from their Local Controllers.
“This cyclone hasn’t adhered to the most likely scenarios and predictions, so we’re still asking people to be cautious,” he said.
Emergency services are planning to survey areas no longer in the Warning zones.
“At this stage we’re asking people not to travel unnecessarily.
“Even though the strongest winds appear to have passed, there are weight limits on some roads and others are closed. Debris and rain damage and flooding can make driving unsafe,” Regional Controller Wurst said.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) is forecasting that Severe Tropical Cyclone Owen may cross into Queensland later today or early Saturday.
Current weather warnings and advice can be found online at the BoM website: http://www.bom.gov.au/nt/warnings
A list of what should be included in an emergency kit can be found on the Northern Territory Emergency Service website: http://www.pfes.nt.gov.au/Emergency-Service/Public-safety-advice/Household-emergency-planning.aspx
Information on cyclone preparedness is available at SecureNT: https://securent.nt.gov.au/prepare-for-an-emergency/cyclones
0476 835 348