Tropical Cyclone Owen redevelops into category one system, preparations underway


December 12, 2018 08:25:05

Tropical Cyclone Owen has redeveloped into a category one system in the southern Gulf of Carpentaria and is forecast to intensify further.

A warning has been in place since yesterday for communities from Burketown in Queensland through to Cape Shield in the Northern Territory, including Groote Eylandt.

The Bureau of Meteorology predicts the cyclone will continue to move west during the rest of this evening.

Regional controller Travis Wurst said it was expected to slow down on Wednesday or Thursday and them move east towards the Queensland coast.

It was expected to cross the south-east coast of the Gulf on Friday.

He said it was possible the cyclone would reach category three “if the conditions in the Gulf of Carpentaria allow it”.

Mr Wurst said extensive planning and preparation has been undertaken locally in the areas impacted by the warning, as well as at a regional level.

“Local community meetings have been held across the North East Top End,” he said.

“Communities are well aware of the cyclone warnings and are making preparations.”

Heavy rainfall is also expected to develop about the islands and coastal areas of the western and southern Gulf of Carpentaria, with a marine wind warning issued for the Roper Groote Coast.

Rethink travel plans

Those located within the warning zone from Cape Shield to Burketown, including Groote Eylandt, could also experience gales with gusts up to 110 kilometres per hour on Wednesday.

“Anyone thinking about venturing out to sea over the next several days is urged to reconsider their need to travel while these dangerous weather conditions are impacting the area,” Mr Wurst said.

“We’re asking people in the area to be prepared for these wet and windy conditions.

“Make sure your homes and emergency kits are prepared and your friends and neighbours are aware that this system is coming.”

The Bureau of Meteorology has not yet issued a flood warning for the area and at this stage there is a low chance of storm surges.

But Mr Wurst said people travelling through the area should still take care and stay away from flooded roads and waterways.

“You don’t know what the road conditions are,” he said.

“There could be submerged branches or trees, and crocodiles are an ever present danger in the Top End.”

A list of what residents should include in their emergency kit can be found on the Northern Territory Emergency Service website.

Cyclone preparedness information is available at SecureNT, and more information on weather warnings is available on the BOM website.











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