Department of the Chief Minister
Severe Tropical Cyclone Owen – UPDATE #10
13 December 2018
Severe Tropical Cyclone Owen is now taking a more easterly course, retracing its path back towards Queensland.
The Warning Zone for Numbulwar to Port Roper has been cancelled and the public shelter in Numbulwar has been stood down. A Warning remains for Port Roper in the Northern Territory, including Borroloola, to Aurukun in Queensland.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) says Severe Tropical Cyclone Owen has started to move to the east, away from part of the Northern Territory coastline. Due to its location in open waters and with a favourable environment, it is likely to continue to strengthen over the next 24 hours, possibly reaching category 4 intensity overnight or early Friday.
A coastal crossing in Queensland is expected on late Friday or early Saturday.
“Gales in areas like Groote Eylandt have eased and are less likely to be felt now that Owen is heading back towards Queensland,” Incident Controller Warren Jackson said.
“There appears to be a bit of good news for Territorians at the moment, but we urge people in that Warning Zone from Port Roper to Queensland to remain vigilant as the cyclone passes by.
“It’s important that people continue to take this cyclone seriously. As we’ve seen already, outcomes can be unpredictable and it’s essential that complacency does not occur.
“The cyclone is only going to strengthen.”
The Bureau of Meteorology says if Severe Tropical Cyclone Owen does take a more southerly direction, it’s possible that very destructive wind gusts up to 195 kilometres per hour could develop near the Port McArthur during this evening.
“It’s also possible that the coastal region between Port Roper and Port McArthur may experience gales with gusts up to 110 kilometres per hour this evening and early tomorrow,” Incident Controller Warren Jackson said.
“This coupled with the expected heavy rainfall can result in dangerous conditions for people to be out and about in.
“Flash flooding is common in a cyclone and the Bureau has advised this could occur about the islands and coastal areas of the Northern Territory side of the Gulf.
“We urge people in the affected areas to remain in cyclone shelters or their homes for as long as it takes for the danger to pass.
“Just because it looks like Owen is heading back to Queensland like we expected, it does not mean we are safe just yet.”
The Bureau of Meteorology has specifically warned residents along the coast to Port McArthur, including Bing Bong, about a dangerous storm tide overnight tonight. Damaging waves and dangerous flooding may accompany an above average high tide.
From Port McArthur to Aurukun in Queensland, and from Port Roper to Alyangula, a risk remains of a storm tide developing, with water rising significantly above the normal high tide. Damaging waves and minor flooding is a possibility.
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
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