Pilbara and Gascoyne residents and travellers heading to these regions are being urged to stay alert with a tropical low developing next week.
The Bureau of Meteorology has warned a tropical low system is developing with the potential to become a cyclone or at least bring heavy rains, flooding, gales and swells.
The system is likely to impact the western Pilbara or upper Gascoyne later next week. Current tracking predictions suggest the area around Exmouth and Coral Bay could be at particular risk, although this prediction is subject to change
Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Darren Klemm AFSM said it was critical for locals and those holidaying in the region to stay up-to-date with weather forecasts.
“If you are travelling through the Pilbara or Gascoyne over the coming week, it’s vital you prepare for the possibility of bad weather. Have essential supplies, an emergency kit and stay up-to-date with Emergency WA and local radio broadcasts.
“Plan your journey, never walk or drive through floodwaters – this is extremely dangerous. Flood can take control of a four-wheel drive in just 30cm of flowing water. If the road is closed, it’s closed.
“If you are staying in holiday accommodation, speak to the provider about their cyclone plans.
“A vital lesson from Tropical Cyclone Veronica in 2019 was the need to prepare early. Do not leave it until the last minute as there simply may not be enough time or supplies available.”
Last season, Tropical Cyclone Damien – the most significant system to impact the Karratha area since 1999 – produced wind gusts of 194 km/h, the strongest recorded at Karratha since 1984.
Commissioner Klemm said local residents also had an important part to play ahead of any potential severe weather.
“Clear loose items from around homes and properties, prepare emergency kits – torch, first aid supplies, battery-operated radio, spare batteries, phone and charger, food and water – and monitor weather warnings. All this will make a significant difference if a disaster strikes,” he said.
Should the tropical low develop into a tropical cyclone, a Cyclone Watch will be issued on Emergency WA up to 48 hours before the system is expected to hit the coast.
Stay up to date with the latest emergency information by visiting www.emergency.wa.gov.au or for more information about preparing for cyclones, visit dfes.wa.gov.au
Media Contact: DFES Media and Corporate Communications 9395 9543