Katherine has been selected as the most likely refuge for some NT residents fleeing Tropical Cyclone Trevor.
The NT Government has confirmed Katherine, along with Darwin, is being considered for evacuees as a reception, registration and transit point "with further accommodation arrangements being explored".
Some regular sporting activities were cancelled at the Katherine Showgrounds last night in the eventuality the showgrounds will be hosting hundreds of people from as early as today.
Residents along the eastern edge of the NT including Borroloola, Numbulwar, Ngukurr, Groote Eylandt including Alyangula, Angurugu, Umbakumba and Bickerton Island; and Nhulunbuy including Yirrkala are being evacuated.
TC Trevor is now expected to make landfall in these areas as a category four severe cyclone on Saturday but winds will pick up tomorrow.
Marine conditions in the gulf are forecast to deteriorate today.
A Tropical Cyclone Watch has been issued for Nhulunbuy to the Queensland border, including Groote Eylandt, with parts of the region currently preparing for evacuation to Darwin.
The bureau is expecting TC Trevor to arrive in the NT with has very destructive winds, with gusts to 260 kmh, heavy rainfall and a very dangerous storm tide are expected near the cyclone centre as it approaches and crosses the coast.
Regional Controller Travis Wurst said that the decision was made to evacuate due to the severity of the storm and the significant threat it poses, as well as the remoteness of the area, meaning it will take time to move people to safety.
"In the interest of public safety and given the forecast, a decision has been made to evacuate the communities of Numbulwar by road and Groote Eylandt by air. This process has commenced for Numbulwar and will commence soon for Groote Eylandt communities.
"This includes outstations and homelands near these areas.
"Our information tells us that this severe cyclone will be extremely dangerous and too dangerous for people to shelter in place.
"The system will be large and intense, with significant damage expected.
"Some people have already self-evacuated. Everyone else in these communities is asked to be ready for evacuation across today and tomorrow."
"Local police, government and non-government agencies are currently working to ensure all community members are aware of the dangers present and the need to evacuate. Evacuations are taking place by road and air depending on the locations under direct threat.
Before departing, residents are asked to:
Empty the fridge and turn off all taps
Turn off electricity
Lift appliances and furniture up above flood level
Residents with pets are advised to plan for their pets. Animals cannot be taken into public emergency shelters. Pets should be left in the strongest room in the house without windows, with enough food and water for five days. Residents are encouraged to leave a note on their front door to identify that there are animals inside.
What to bring to the Evacuation Centre:
- 1 bag (which you can carry) per person.
- Clothes and underwear
- Personal items like towels and toiletries
- Medicines and prescriptions
- Nappies, formula, toys and other things for children and babies
- Some form of identification
- Medicare card
- Bank account details
A Storm Force Wind Warning for the Roper Groote Coast and a Gale Warning for the Gove Peninsula Coast is also in place. Dangerous levels of flooding and waves are expected near the cyclone centre from Friday night into Saturday.
Regional Controller Wurst is warning people who are considering heading out on the water to stay well clear of the ocean.
"Tropical Cyclone Trevor will cause very heavy seas, storm surge and significantly higher than normal tides.
"Do not enter the water in any method; it will not be safe to do so and you will be risking your life and those of others' when a rescue is required."
The Northern Territory Emergency Service advises communities under Watch:
- prepare your home and yard for a severe cyclone
- follow direction and advice of local emergency services
A list of what residents should include in their emergency kit can be found on the Northern Territory Emergency Service website
For more information on the tropical low and weather warnings go to the BoM website:
TCTrevor is likely to give Katherine a flick of its tail where most would welcome a good dump of rain after a poor wet season.
The bureau is not forecasting major totals for the Katherine region though as TC Trevor, by then a tropical depression is expected to head well south.
While the Bureau of Meteorology is loath to predict the course of cyclone many days ahead, the bureau has issued warning updates which now include our Barkly region of the NT.
TC Trevor has now left north Queensland and is again picking up strength as it barrels west across the warm Gulf of Carpentaria.
There is less certainty about TC Trevor's direction now it is in the gulf but most weather models now agree the system, by then a big, wet tropical depression will impact the southern Top End on Sunday.
TC Trevor is likely to cross the NT coast during late Friday or Saturday as a category 4 severe tropical cyclone, somewhere between Borroloola and Numbulwar.
There is a now a cyclone watch from Nhulunbuy to the NT/Qld border including Groote Eylandt where gale force winds in excess of 65 kmh can be expected from tomorrow.
The bureau says wind gusts to 120kmh are expected to develop on Groote Eylandt from tomorrow morning and extend to the mainland coast between Cape Shield and the NT border later tomorrow.
Gales could also extend further north to Nhulunbuy on Friday if the cyclone takes a more northerly track.
Depending on the movement of the system, very destructive winds with gusts to 250 kmh, heavy rainfall and very dangerous storm tides are expected near the centre of the system as it approaches and crosses the NT coast.
Once the system has moved inland it will weaken but could maintain tropical cyclone intensity for more than 24 hours as it continues to move further inland.
"This system is likely to bring significant rainfall with it, daily falls of 100-200mm are possible at Groote Eylandt and through the Carpentaria district as the system approaches and makes landfall.
"Heavier falls of 200-300mm are possible around the core of the system," the bureau said.
The area of heavy rainfall will be highly dependent on the movement of the system and where it directly impacts the coast.
Heavy rainfall and strong winds are likely to continue inland and may impact the Barkly district this weekend and early next week.
Other areas over eastern Top End may experience severe thunderstorms as bands wrap into the system, warnings will be issued as required.
Severe thunderstorms are possible today but most likely will increase from tomorrow as the tropical cyclone moves closer.
Red Cross has opened Register.Find.Reunite. and is urging people affected by Tropical Cyclone Trevor to get in touch with their families and friends.
"Being separated from family and friends is one of the most stressful things a person can experience during an emergency. Not knowing where your loved ones are, not being able to contact them by phone or email adds to that anxiety," said Red Cross Territory Director Andy Kenyon.
"The service helps find and reunite family, friends and loved ones during a disaster."
If you or a loved one is being impacted by Tropical Cyclone Trevor Red Cross encourages you to register or enquire through the Register.Find.Reunite. service.
People can register and look for someone with Register.Find.Reunite. at register.redcross.org.au.
The Register.Find.Reunite. service matches registrations from people affected by an emergency to enquiries made by their loved ones searching for news. Where a match is made, the person who made the enquiry will be notified.
TC Trevor left a trail of destruction behind in north Queensland.
Trevor has uprooted trees, caused schools and road to close and caused power outages due to severe wind gusts and heavy rain since it made landfall in Queensland's north earlier this week.
The Aurukun community is likely to be cleaning up on Thursday, after taking cover on Wednesday when Trevor passed over on its way to the Gulf of Carpentaria.
Trevor began ripping through the region late on Tuesday as a category three storm, dumping 300mm of rain and recording wind gusts of more than 133km/h.
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