Please note Pardoo to Whim Creek is now at Red Alert and changes under storm surge information
This is an emergency broadcast from the Department of Fire and Emergency Services.
It is essential that the words are not changed.
The following alert has been issued by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES).
Time of issue: 03:46 PM
Date of issue: 23 March 2019
Cyclone RED ALERT for Pardoo to Whim Creek extending east but not including Marble Bar in the Pilbara
COMMUNITY ALERT LEVEL:
A RED ALERT is current for people in communities between Pardoo and Whim Creek including Port Hedland and South Hedland due to Tropical Cyclone Veronica.
There is a threat to lives and homes. You are in danger and need to act immediately.
WHAT TO DO:
- You need to remain inside and shelter in the strongest, safest part of your house or evacuation centre.
- Keep your emergency kit with you.
- Stay away from doors and windows, and keep them closed.
- Stay indoors until the ALL CLEAR is given by authorities.
- Tropical Cyclone Veronica will result in a significant storm surge along parts of the Pilbara coast.
- There is a high risk that this will result in properties becoming inundated in the greater Port Hedland area.
- To view the Port Hedland Storm Surge Modelling Maps click here and open in a new tab. To view on mobile device press and hold the link for 5 seconds.
- If you live in this area, it is too late to leave and you need to shelter in the strongest part of your house.
- If there is a life-threatening situation call 000.
- Tides are at the highest point this weekend which increases the risk of large storm tides. The surge may be up to 4 metres on top of the existing tide level.
- There are many hazards associated with this type of inundation. Flood waters can contain contaminants that can be harmful to your health. It is likely that if flooded, power will be cut and if not live electricity could pose a risk to residents.
- Utilities like power and gas may be unavailable for an extended period of time following the event and residents should consider this when making their decision to stay or relocate.
Cyclone YELLOW ALERT for Wallal to Pardoo and Whim Creek to Mardie in the Pilbara
COMMUNITY ALERT LEVEL:
A YELLOW ALERT is current for people in communities between Wallal to Pardoo and Whim Creek to Mardie, including Point Samson, Wickham, Roebourne, Karratha, Dampier and inland including Marble Bar.
There is a possible threat to lives and homes as a cyclone is approaching the area.
You need to take action and get ready to shelter from a cyclone.
WHAT TO DO:
- Fasten all cyclone screens, secure boats, caravans, trailers, garden sheds, outdoor furniture, rainwater tanks and LPG bottles.
- Move vehicles under cover.
- Ensure pets and animals are in a safe area.
- Pack a relocation kit to be taken with your emergency kit.
- Be aware that shops may now be closing.
- Karratha is at a low risk of inundation from storm surge, but communities are asked to remain alert and prepare for a change in conditions.
Cyclone BLUE ALERT for people in Pannawonica to Nullagine in the Pilbara
COMMUNITY ALERT LEVEL:
A BLUE ALERT is current for people in parts of the inland Pilbara, including Pannawonica and Nullagine in the Pilbara.
Although there is no immediate danger you need to start preparing for dangerous weather and keep up to date
WHAT TO DO:
- Get ready for dangerous weather by preparing your home inside and out.
- Secure or remove loose material from around your home.
- Ensure your emergency kit is complete and check your family knows what to do.
- You need to prepare to leave for a safer place or shelter in place. Advise others if you plan to evacuate and take warm clothing, valuables and essential items. Check your neighbours have received this warning.
As at 23 March 2019 03:00 PM:
Severe Tropical Cyclone Veronica, a Category 4 system, is slowly moving towards the Pilbara coast. A severe coastal impact is expected during Sunday with the very destructive winds near the centre of the cyclone likely to affect the coast from early Sunday morning. The system is expected to cross the coast during Sunday, somewhere between Pardoo and Roebourne. The crossing may occur close to Port Hedland.
Gales with gusts to 100 kilometres per hour are starting to develop between Wallal Downs and Mardie, and are expected to extend inland to Marble Bar by Sunday morning.
Destructive winds with gusts exceeding 125 kilometres per hour are forecast to develop along the coast between Pardoo and Mardie from later on Saturday afternoon or evening, continuing during Sunday.
Very destructive winds with gusts in excess of 165 kilometres per hour are expected near the cyclone centre as it approaches and crosses the coast during Sunday.
On Sunday gales may extend to adjacent inland areas including Pannawonica and Nullagine.
Tropical Cyclone Veronica may be travelling more slowly than a typical system as it crosses the coast during Sunday, and as a result communities in the path of the cyclone should prepare to shelter from the destructive winds for an extended period of
12 hours or more.
Widespread very heavy rainfall conducive to major flooding is likely over the Pilbara coast and adjacent inland areas over the weekend. Heavy rainfall is expected to result in significant river rises areas of flooding and hazardous road conditions. Some roads may become impassable and some communities may become isolated. An initial Flood Warning has been issued for the Pilbara Coastal Rivers. Please refer to the warning for further details (http://www.bom.gov.au/wa/warnings/).
People along the Pilbara coast are warned of the potential for a very dangerous storm tide as the cyclone approaches the coast late Saturday. Tides are likely to rise significantly above the normal high tide mark with damaging waves and very dangerous coastal inundation.
ROAD CLOSURES AND CONDITIONS:
Roads open to four wheel drives and trucks ONLY due to flooding include:
- Ripon Hills Road in both directions.
Four wheel drive vehicles and trucks may proceed with caution.
The following roads are now closed. Reopening will be subject to cyclone damage and flooding assessments:
- North West Coastal Highway in both directions from 5 kilometres north of Roebourne to the Great Northern Highway intersection.
- Great Northern Highway in both directions between Auski Roadhouse and Sandfire Roadhouse.
- Karratha Tom Price Road in both directions.
- Point Samson Roebourne Road in both directions.
- Dampier Road in both directions.
- Madigan Road.
Some roads may become impassable and some communities may become isolated. Travellers need to be aware that road conditions may be adversely affected and travel plans may need to be reconsidered.
Please visit www.mainroads.wa.gov.au to keep up to date.
Motorists should avoid the area and should not drive into water of unknown depth and current.
- The Department for Communities has set up two temporary evacuation centres.
- South Hedland
- JD Hardie Centre, located at 5991 Cottier Dr, South Hedland
- Karratha Leisureplex, located on Dampier Hwy, opposite Broadhurst Road, Karratha
- South Hedland
- Be aware that only essential items can be taken into these centres. Alcohol and pets, except guide and assistance dogs, are prohibited.
- The WA Country Health Service has advised that once a red alert is notified, Karratha and Hedland Health Campus emergency departments will continue to operate, as will Onslow Health Service, while Roebourne Hospital will be closed. The facility will be reopened once the red alert is lifted.
- Anyone with a pre-existing medical condition should be prepared with sufficient medication.
- If you are sick during a Red Alert, call health direct or 000 in case of emergency.
For more information go to the WA Country Health Service website.
FORECAST AFFECTED AREAS:
CYCLONE WARNING is current for people from Wallal to Mardie
CYCLONE WATCH is current for people extending to the inland Pilbara to include Pannawonica and Nullagine
WHAT EMERGENCY SERVICES ARE DOING:
An emergency situation has been declared in the warning area to enable WA Police and SES volunteers to undertake evacuations as required.
DFES is working closely with volunteers, local governments and other agencies to ensure communities are prepared.
DFES has deployed a taskforce of 40 people to the Pilbara region. These include Incident Management Team personnel, Aboriginal Advancement Unit liaison officers, Urban Search and Rescue personnel and State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers.
All Pilbara coastal SES and Volunteer Fire and Emergency Services units are currently undertaking preparatory and planning activities to assist the community.
DFES has made contact with regional and remote communities to assess their preparedness levels.
WA Police, St John Ambulance and all relevant government agencies are involved in consultation and planning.
Register with Register.Find.Reunite. to let your family and loved ones know you’re OK and where you will be relocating to via www.redcross.org.au from any computer or mobile device or in person at the temporary evacuation centre.
If you are unable to contact a loved one who may have been planning to be in the area, enquire about their whereabouts through the online Register.Find.Reunite. system at www.redcross.org.au.
The Parks and Wildlife Service has issued Park Closures for:
- Karijini National Park
- Millstream Chichester National Park
For more information contact your local Parks and Wildlife Service office or visit www.emergency.wa.gov.au.
- For SES assistance call 132 500
- In a life threatening situation call 000
- For the latest weather information call 1300 659 210 or visit www.bom.gov.au
- For information about road conditions and closures contact local Police or Main Roads WA on 138 138.
KEEP UP TO DATE:
Visit www.emergency.wa.gov.au, call 13 DFES (13 3337), follow DFES on Twitter: https://twitter.com/dfes_wa, Facebook: https://facebook.com/dfeswa/, listen to ABC Local Radio or listen to news bulletins.
Updates will be provided when the situation changes