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Cyclone Trevor predicted to hit coastline, residents evacuated

9News.com.au logo 9News.com.au 22/03/2019 Rosanna Kingsun

a tent in a grassy field: The Marrara evacuation centre in Darwin. © 9news The Marrara evacuation centre in Darwin. The entire coastline from Numbulwar to the NT/QLD border has been evacuated, as communities in the Gulf of Carpentaria brace for Cyclone Trevor's impact.

2100 people from East Arnhem Land have registered at evacuation, with 1200 sleeping at cyclone shelters across the Territory and the remainder choosing to stay with family, friends or in accommodation.

Of 500 evacuees who registered at the Marrara evacuation centre, 400 stayed the night including the Shadforth family from Robinson River.

The eye of Cyclone Trevor is forecast to be 30-50 kilometres wide, while the entire system spans roughly 200km."We had to do about four bus loads and drive into Borroloola, and then catch another connecting bus from there to McArthur River Airport to get on the Hercules," said Johnny Shadforth.

"The community of Robinson River (were on the plane), at this time of year it's pretty low, around 150 people."

Today the effects could be felt as far away as Darwin where a morning storm flipped tents at the Marrara evacuation centre and caused a pontoon at East Arm to break away.

"The tents were stable but additional pegging wasn't in place for approximately 10 to 20 of those tents," said Leanne Taylor from the Department of Territory Families.

"Defence will be back on site this afternoon and everything will be made safe."

She said the scale of the evacuation was unprecedented and organisations had offered space if needed.

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: The Australian Defence Force has been called in to help the Northern Territory Government evacuate remote communities in the path of Tropical Cyclone Trevor. © Nine/Supplied The Australian Defence Force has been called in to help the Northern Territory Government evacuate remote communities in the path of Tropical Cyclone Trevor. "We have had a very kind offer from AFL NT to avail ourselves of the TIO Stadium," she said.

"We have a backup plan in place to be able to bring in another 200 tents on standby with defence to place them on field two of TIO Stadium."

Extra police have also been rostered on in Darwin and Katherine to help manage the influx of people into the towns.Andrew Kenyon from Red Cross Australia said 45 staff and volunteers were working across Darwin and Katherine evacuation centres.

"We've got more people coming from interstate to help out...who have experience in tropical emergency responses coming in from Far North Queensland,” he said.

Larrakia Nation CEO Robert Cooper said the organisation had put on four to six extra patrols in Darwin, as well as stationed staff at evacuation centres.

He said it was important they teach other cultural groups how to behave on Larrakia country.

"There'll be humbugging, there'll be conflict between families, there'll be some degree of drunkenness, but there'll also be a lot of people who are pleased to be somewhere safe."

“The entire coastline and in-lying areas have been evacuated,” said NT Regional Controller Travis Wurst.NT Police today said there were no people left in the greater Borroloola area and officers in Numbulwar had also evacuated to Ngukurr.

a group of people standing around a plane: Staff are being evacuated today from the McArther River Mine near Borroloola. © 9news Staff are being evacuated today from the McArther River Mine near Borroloola. Cyclone Trevor is forecast to make landfall on Saturday morning between Borroloola and Burketown.

A category 5 cyclone has not been ruled out by the Bureau of Meteorology.

“It reached a category 3 this morning and it’s still undergoing intensification,” said NT Manager Todd Smith.

“We’re expecting it to reach the high end of a category 4 before it crosses the coast.”

About 160 Borroloola residents were flown to Darwin last night, while another 600 people from Numbulwar were transported to Katherine yesterday.

On Groote Eylandt, about 600 people were evacuated before plans were suspended, allowing emergency services to focus on mainland areas to the south.

Umbakumba resident Gareth Mamarika was among those transported to Darwin yesterday.

"I went at 4 in the morning and I arrived here in Darwin at 5:20," he said.

"I'm still worried about the animals I left back home...I left them with my brother in law.

"I'm a bit worried about my little tin house."

a group of people standing in front of a crowd posing for the camera: Hundreds evacuated as Cyclone Trevor draws closer to the Gulf of Carpentaria. Hundreds evacuated as Cyclone Trevor draws closer to the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Groote Eylandt remains under a cyclone warning but is not expected to be directly impacted by Trevor.

The Bureau of Meteorology predicts Trevor will cross the NT coast between Port McArthur and the Queensland border.

Trevor is currently located over water in the eastern Gulf of Carpentaria and is forecast to track southwest where it will intensify further.

Authorities aim to have Borroloola and Numbulwar completely evacuated today and all government facilities in the affected areas have been closed.

a person wearing a costume: Hundreds of people have been evacuated out of Trevor's path. © Nine/Supplied Hundreds of people have been evacuated out of Trevor's path. A state of emergency declaration remains in place and the Roper Highway, Carpentaria Highway and Tablelands Highway have been closed.

In Darwin, evacuees are being accommodated at the Foskey Pavilion at the Darwin Showgrounds, which can hold about 500 people.

Department of Territory Families General Manager Brent Warren warned people would likely need to remain at evacuation centres until next week.

"The tracking we've got into the cyclone says that it'll still be moving inland as a cyclone on Sunday, potentially into Monday," he said.

"We brought people here to keep them safe from the cyclone so we won't be returning them until we get the all clear at the other end."

a group of people standing on top of a grass covered field: Royal Australian Air Force personnel assist the evacuaees from Groote Eylandt onto a C-130J Hercules Aircraft. Picture: ADF © Nine/Supplied Royal Australian Air Force personnel assist the evacuaees from Groote Eylandt onto a C-130J Hercules Aircraft. Picture: ADF ‘DANGEROUS STORM’

Speaking at a press conference yesterday NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner warned this was an extremely dangerous system.

The Chief Minister urged people to take warnings seriously, not just because it was a cyclonic event but also due to the dangerous storm surge it is expected to bring.

"As Cyclone Trevor tracks across the Gulf of Carpentaria, the Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting that the cyclone will make landfall between Borroloola and Groote Eylandt during Saturday as a category four severe tropical cyclone," Mr Gunner said.

Mr Gunner said the severity of the storm, the significant threat it poses, as well as the complications that come with the remoteness of the area, led to the decision to start evacuations yesterday.

Authorities have warned Trevor could bring wind gusts in excess of 200-300km/h.

The last Category 4 system to hit the Top End was cyclone was Cyclone Lam in 2015, however authorities warn this system is much larger.

a close up of a wave: Cyclone Trevor is one of the most dangerous systems to hit the NT in decades. Picture: Regional and Mesoscale Meteorology Branch © Supplied Cyclone Trevor is one of the most dangerous systems to hit the NT in decades. Picture: Regional and Mesoscale Meteorology Branch TWIN CYCLONES BATTER COASTLINES

Trevor is one of two cyclones hitting northern Australia.

Cyclone Veronica, which is set to approach Western Australia’s Pilbara coast from tomorrow, intensified from a Category 1 to 4 yesterday.

The WA Department of Fire and Emergency Services also warned people to prepare for dangerous weather and yesterday issued a blue alert (urging residents to prepare for severe weather).The Bureau of Meteorology warned the storm could have a severe impact along the northern WA coast in coming days.

DAMAGE, DESTRUCTION

Trevor has already left a trail of destruction after smashing far north Queensland.

The remote north Queensland community of Aurukun was among the areas lashed by rain and winds as Trevor passed over them on its way to the NT.

Trevor uprooted trees, closed schools and roads, caused power outages with severe gusts and heavy rain since it made landfall in Queensland's north.

a person walking down a dirt road: Tropical Cyclone Trevor has largely passed the Cape York Peninsula, but there's more rain to come. © Nine Tropical Cyclone Trevor has largely passed the Cape York Peninsula, but there's more rain to come.

Cyclone Trevor is forecast to become a large system with an eye around 30 kilometres wide, which is the same size as the entire system of Cyclone Marcus, which hit Darwin a year ago.

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.

Lockhart River Mayor Wayne Butcher said Trevor was the worst he had endured.

"It was ferocious - the wind was just constant between 4pm and midnight," he said.

"This was probably the worst one ... this one basically sat near the community and hounded us for hours. I've got a timber house and I could feel it shaking."

a truck is parked on the side of a dirt field: Heavy rain to large areas of drought-weary central and eastern Australia during the next week © Supplied/Alison Boon Heavy rain to large areas of drought-weary central and eastern Australia during the next week THE AFTERMATH

The remnants of Tropical Cyclone Trevor could bring heavy rain to large areas of drought-weary central and eastern Australia during the next week.

Cyclone Trevor is currently intensifying over the Gulf of Carpentaria and should make landfall over the Northern Territory on the weekend.

This is likely to be a high impact coastal crossing for towns, communities and other infrastructure in the Territory's Carpentaria District.

After making landfall, Tropical Cyclone Trevor will weaken below cyclone strength as it travels inland towards central Australia on Sunday.

Most forecast models indicate that Trevor's remnant low pressure system will then interact with a cold front crossing southeastern Australia on Monday.

a person standing on a dry grass field: The tropical moisture being dragged southwards by Trevor's remnants should also trigger showers and thunderstorms over a broader area of Queensland and NSW next week. © Supplied/Alison Boon The tropical moisture being dragged southwards by Trevor's remnants should also trigger showers and thunderstorms over a broader area of Queensland and NSW next week.

The combination of these two systems will cause rain and storms to spread across a large area of central and eastern Australia next week.

It's difficult to predict where and how much rain will fall from these showers and storms at this stage. However, many drought-affect regions of central and eastern Australia could see some wet weather next week from this system.

Unfortunately, much of NSW, southern Queensland and large part of the NT have received 100-400mm less rain than usual during the last 12 months.

While Trevor's rain could put a sizeable dent in these rainfall deficits, it probably won't break the drought  for most places.

This will be a dynamic weather event and forecasts may change as the week unfolds. Be sure to keep up to date with the latest information and warnings.

a person posing for the camera: This weekend's Australia-wide weather wrap. This weekend's Australia-wide weather wrap. Elsewhere around the country

Sydneysiders can expect a warm weekend with 28 degrees predicted for tomorrow, although beach weather could be dampened by an afternoon storm. Sunday will partly cloudy, but is expected to a top of 30 degrees.

Brisbane is expecting a warm weekend, with maximums of 32C and 34C.

It will be a consistently warm and sunny weekend in Perth, with Saturday and Sunday both tipped to see a top of 27C.

Adelaide is also heading for 27C Sunday, but will drop to 25C on Sunday with the chance of a late shower or two.

Hobart will expect showers on Saturday with weather tipped to remain around 25C. The wet weather will dry up on Sunday, but the city will a cool 21C.

It will be a cloudy day for Canberra tomorrow with the chance of an afternoon storm, then up to 10 millimeters of rain on Sunday. Both days are expected to reach a top of 27C.

Darwin is tipped to avoid the worst of Tropical Cyclone Trevor, but storms are still forecast across the weekend with up to 30 millimeters of rain on Saturday and 40mm on Sunday.

Despite the weather, Darwin is topped to reach 34C and 35C on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

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