Department of the Chief Minister
Severe Tropical Cyclone Owen – UPDATE #9
13 December 2018
Communities along the Gulf of Carpentaria are being asked to keep monitoring conditions as Severe Tropical Cyclone Owen starts to turn and make its way through the region.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) says over the past few hours the system has been moving in a northerly to north easterly direction and it starting to retrace its path. A Warning is in place for Numbulwar in the Northern Territory through to Aurukun in Queensland, including Groote Eylandt and Borroloola. There is a Watch in place for parts of Queensland extending inland.
Severe Tropical Cyclone Owen is forecast to gain intensity, increasing to a Category 4 strength system as it moves back out over the water away from the Northern Territory coastline.
“As Severe TC Owen starts to move, part of southern Groote Eylandt could see gale force winds later this evening. The system could speed up around from midnight,” Regional Controller Travis Wurst said.
“We need people to make sure they’re paying attention to updates from emergency services and the Bureau of Meteorology because conditions in their area may change overnight.”
Some areas have seen rainfall totals of around 100 to 120 millimetres, although there may have been double that in isolated areas. Storm surges are still being forecast for the Bing Bong (Port McArthur) region.
“We’ve heard from Borroloola locals that conditions have been overcast, drizzling and with very little wind.
“That’s prompted some people to say they won’t join in with the 140 other locals who have spent time in the public shelter,” Regional Controller Wurst said.
“We’d just urge those people and communities further north along the Gulf to seek out regular weather updates to make sure that Severe Tropical Cyclone Owen isn’t going to make a return to their region.
“We also need people within the Warning zone, particularly those in Alyangula and Numbulwar, to stay away from beaches and low lying areas.
“Tides will be higher than normal and this will present a dangerous environment for people to be in.
“Emergency services personnel are already working to their maximum and having to rescue someone from dangerous waters will compromise their efforts.”
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
0428 057 882