The first cyclone of the 2019-20 season is currently making its ways towards Western Australia’s Pilbara region after bringing much-needed rain to the Kimberley.
Residents from Beagle Bay to Broome were on Yellow Alert overnight as Tropical Cyclone Blake made its way closer to the coast. Derby recorded the highest rainfall after receiving 152mL, and Broome received 148mL.
Despite the downpour, the cyclone didn’t make landfall in the Kimberley. It’s expected to touch down near Eighty Mile Beach, 242 kilometres north of Port Hedland on Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning.
State Emergency Services (SES) told ABC Radio that they had only three reports from Broome residents’ overnight, mostly for minor flooding, and said there were no reporter of any serious damage.
Aboriginal business owner, Patronella Channing operates Mercedes Cove an eco-retreat, located 164 kilometres north-east of Broome in the Dampier Peninsular area.
She told NITV News her home was hammered with rain and strong winds for four hours.
“A couple of gubinge trees lost their branches and we lost all the fruit and a couple of white gum trees snapped, and quite a few pendulous trees fell over and blew leaves everywhere, it was very scary,” Nanna Pat said.
“It was a welcomed thing but after five days we’re like ‘come on rain stop, come on sun come out’,” she said.
Nanna Pat said the clean up at Mercedes Cove is expected to take a week.
The Dampier Peninsular consists of more than 70 Indigenous communities as well as eco-treats and camping grounds.
The state government has been working on sealing the Broome Cape Leveque Road, however, a large portion of the road is still unsealed and has been closed since Friday due to the heavy rain.
A spokesperson from the Shire of Broome confirms there is enough food, water and fuel supplies for the communities located in the area. WA Police also has officers on the ground in some communities.
DFES will make an aerial inspection of the Cape Leveque road tomorrow to confirm if it is safe to open.
The Bureau of Meteorology's latest forecast predicts the cyclone will continue to weaken as it moves inland with the possibility of bringing rain to the bushfire in the Goldfields region, which has closed the only highway connecting WA to South Australia.
A second tropical cyclone is currently forming off the coast of Wessel Island in the Northern Territory, with rainfall and winds increasing along the coast from Wednesday.