Western and Northern Australia Regions Brace for Flooding

By AAP
December 18, 2020 Updated: December 18, 2020

Residents in Western Australia’s Kimberley region and parts of the Northern Territory have been told to prepare for widespread flooding.

Western Australia’s remote north and parched parts of Northern Territory are bracing for wild weather, with heavy rain expected to trigger widespread and dangerous flooding.

A broad tropical low about 300km west of Darwin and moving slowly southwest is forecast to cross the Kimberley coast on Saturday bringing conditions likely to cause flash floods.

The Bureau of Meteorology issued a warning at 5 a.m. (WST) for Kimberly residents to “take action and stay safe with severe weather to come”.

Kununurra, Wyndham, Lake Argyle, Mitchell Plateau, Mount Barnett, and Warmun were listed as locations likely to be affected.

“This weather is not unusual for this time of year but could damage homes and make travel dangerous,” the bureau said. “Roads may become impassable including the Great Northern Highway and some communities may become isolated.”

The low is expected to track over inland across the weekend, with heavy rainfall to extend towards the north Kimberley coast.

Flood watches and warnings were current for the area, the bureau said, with squally showers, strong gusty winds and thunderstorms possible.

The system is then forecast to enter very dry, western inland parts of the Northern Territory.

Falls of up to 120mm are expected to cause significant rises in streams and creeks throughout the flood watch area current in the Tanami, Lasseter, and Simpson districts from Sunday.

Roads, including major highways, may be cut, leaving many communities in the area isolated.

Tides will be higher than normal between the WA-NT border and Mitchell Plateau.

A severe weather warning has also been issued for the top end of the Northern Territory on Saturday.

Damaging wind gusts, heavy rain and flash flooding are predicted for Darwin, Palmerston, Batchelor, Wadeye, Wurrumiyanga and Nauiyu.

Meanwhile, local heavy rain has caused minor flooding on the NSW mid-north coast.

The Bellinger River at Thora peaked near 3.30 metres about 3 a.m. on Saturday but was falling by lunchtime.

The SES advised residents of low-lying areas near the river to keep an active watch and stay in touch with neighbours.

Farmers on low-lying land close to rivers and creeks were urged to monitor livestock, pumps and equipment.

The Orara River at Glenreagh in the Clarence Valley fell below minor flood level overnight after causing some minor inundation.

AAP