• Flooding in the Daly River Region, 220 kilometres south of Darwin. (Northern Territory Police)Source: Northern Territory Police
Wild weather and flooding is causing evacuations, school closures, and considerable damage across communities in the Northern Territory.
By
Elliana Lawford

31 Jan 2018 - 3:12 PM  UPDATED 31 Jan 2018 - 3:14 PM

Dozens of helicopters and buses have been used to evacuate almost 400 residents from Nauiyu in the Daly River region, 220 kilometres south of Darwin, after floodwaters inundated the community.

Twenty-three helicopters and 10 buses were used to evacuate the residents to the Foskey Pavilion in Darwin, where they will remain until further notice.

The Daly River was 14.58 metres above major flood level on Tuesday evening and remains steady.

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“The current advice from the Bureau of Meteorology is that the Daly River has reached major flood levels and will remain above major for some time” Northern Region Emergency Controller, Assistant Commissioner Matthew Hollamby said.

There has also been serious flooding and severe weather in WA in the Broome and Kimberley regions, and the Torres Strait as wild weather lashes northern Australia.

In the NT, Daly River residents have been posting videos of the flooding on Facebook.

Meanwhile a search and rescue operation is underway for a 62-year-old man who is feared to be missing in floodwaters near Palumpa in the Daly River region.

The man was last seen a week ago when he set off on his bicycle from Leichhardt Outstation towards Kelerrk Outstation, about 20 kilmetres away.

There is a creek in-between the two outstations and police say they are concerned for his safety.

While the search continues, Emergency Services are reminding people to be careful and stay out of floodwaters.

“Road conditions can change very quickly and we recommend drivers don’t enter flooded roads and adhere to the message turn around, don’t drown,” Northern Territory Emergency Service Regional Manager, Mark Cunnington said.

The monsoonal rains and floodwaters have also forced several Top End Schools to close.

Adelaide River and Woolaning School in the Daly River Region are closed today, along with Kiana School and Lajamanu School in the Katherine region.

While Nganambala School, Nganmarriyanga School, Peppimenarti School and Woolianna School will be closed until further notice.

Residents in Darwin and rural areas are also being urged to prepare for localised flooding in the coming days in light of recent heavy rainfall.

People in the Darwin suburbs of Nightcliff and Rapid Creek have been given sandbags and told to have an emergency plan in place, with the risk that floodwaters could rise quickly, with more heavy rain and very high tides expected in the coming days.

“Residents are also being advised to source material for sandbags,” Mark Cunnington said.

“You can create your own sandbags if there is flooding, by using pillow cases or shopping bags filled with sand and place them around doorways to protect your home.

“Households should be aware of their local situation, and prepare and plan for the eventuality of flooding.”

Several weather warnings are in place across the Territory – including a severe weather warning for damaging winds and heavy rainfall in the Daly, Tiwi districts, and parts of the Arnhem and Gregory districts.

Minor flood warnings are in place for the Adelaide and Katherine Rivers, and an initial minor flood warning has been issued for the McArthur River and a flood watch for the North West and Bonaparte Coastal Rivers.