Department of the Chief Minister
Tropical Cyclone Warning – UPDATE #3
12 December 2018
Wednesday, 12 December 2018
Issued at: 1515hrs CST
A number of communities near the Gulf of Carpentaria are being advised to activate their cyclone plans as Category 2 Tropical Cyclone Owen is forecast to increase in strength.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has a Warning in place from Cape Shield in the Northern Territory to Burketown in Queensland. This includes Groote Eylandt, Borroloola and Numbulwar as the system tracks west before it’s forecast to turn back around and head south and east towards the NT/QLD border.
“The advice from the Bureau of Meteorology is that people those areas should expect destructive gale force winds this afternoon and into tomorrow as TC Owen moves south overnight,” Regional Controller Travis Wurst said.
“Borroloola residents may start to feel the effects of TC Owen from the very early hours of tomorrow morning.
“People in those communities have their preparations well underway, including identifying strong buildings and public shelters in their area if they need to leave their homes.”
There are marine wind warnings but no flood warnings in place at this stage, with the BOM predicting that the heaviest rainfalls will be offshore. Forecasters are also anticipating a possible 0.5 to 1 metre storm surge at Bing Bong (Port McArthur).
“We’ve been speaking to communities in those areas to make sure that fishers aren’t out in the Gulf as TC Owen passes through,” Regional Controller Wurst said.
“The communities that are most likely to be affected are the southern parts of Groote Eylandt this afternoon with winds lasting 24 to 36 hours.
“We’ve also been speaking with local authorities in Alyangula in case TC Owen’s more westerly course affects that area, to make sure people in the community are prepared,” he said.
“If you haven’t started making preparations, you still have time to get ready.”
The BOM expects TC Owen will reach Category 3 strength, which includes winds gusts of up to 224 kilometres per hour.
“We’re also urging those communities to make sure they’ve got enough food, water and supplies for at least three days,” Regional Controller Wurst said.
“People in those regions need to be prepared in case there are delays restoring power and road access once the cyclone has passed.”
The BOM website has the most up to date weather advice and warnings: http://www.bom.gov.au/nt/warnings
People seeking tips on cyclone preparedness can head to Secure NT: https://securent.nt.gov.au/prepare-for-an-emergency/cyclones or the Northern Territory Emergency Service website: http://www.pfes.nt.gov.au/Emergency-Service/Public-safety-advice/Household-emergency-planning.aspx
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