Weather News

Tropical low crosses WA's north and mid-west, bringing heavy rain and flooding

By Matt Bamford, Saturday January 23, 2021 - 14:54 EDT
ABC licensed image
The weather system is not as strong as initially expected, but could still pack a punch. - ABC licensed

Authorities are urging people in Western Australia's north and mid-west to be prepared for heavy rainfall and flooding, as a tropical low crosses the region.



The weakening low, which was previously expected to become a cyclone, crossed the WA coast on Friday night.

The Bureau of Meteorology says it is likely to cause flooding in the Sandy Desert district.

The Bureau's spokesman Neil Bennett said the system was not as strong as initially expected but it could still pack a punch.

"Communities in the area do need to be aware that this is a powerful system," he said.

"With the amount of rain that is likely to fall over the next 24 to 36 hours, we could see some flooding and the possibility of some road closures."



Flooding, strong winds likely

Severe weather warnings are no longer in place for the northern interior district, however a severe weather warning is current for the southern interior district, including the mid-west Gascoyne.

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services has urged residents to be prepared for a wet weekend.

Assistant Commissioner Brad Delavale said the heavy rainfall was likely to affect large parts of the state.

"We are asking people to prepare to ensure they have an emergency kit packed and have a plan in place in case you do need to relocate," he said.

Travellers should also be aware of the changing conditions in the lead up to the Australia Day public holiday.

"We ask travellers to consider their journeys carefully, particularly through that area ? no major roads are closed at present."



Pastoralists welcome rain

Pastoralist David Stoate from Anna Plains Station told WA's Country Hour, he had been tying down windmills and tidying up his homestead as the storm approached.

"Preparations are pretty well complete, we've just been running around battening down the hatches," he said.

The station, several hours south of Broome, has already received about 63mm of rain in the past 24 hours.

"We're hoping for a decent drop of rain and not too much damage," he said.

"[The rain] has been quite steady all day and neighbouring stations have had decent amounts this morning."

Mr Stoate said the system was expected to bring the most significant downpour since December when 200mm fell across the month.

"This will set us up quite nicely for the season as long as we don't get too much," he said.

The last severe cyclone to impact on the Pilbara was Tropical Cyclone Damien in February last year.

It brought flooding rains and gale force winds to the region, causing damage to property, vegetation and Karratha Airport.


- ABC

© ABC 2021

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