WA, NT: Torrential rain and flooding force evacuations in the East Kimberley
Wyndham town set a new one-day rainfall record today as flooding worsened across the eastern Kimberley. 252.4mm in the 24 hours to 9am was the highest one-day total recorded for any month in the station's 38-year history. Over the past 3 days, Wyndham town has recorded 481mm, over three times its March monthly average of 149.7mm. Oombulgurri, 45km NW of Wyndham, has recorded 261.4mm in the past 3 days and Kununurra Aero, 70km ENE, 282.8 in the past 4 days.
All unsealed roads in the Wyndham-East Kimberley Shire are closed, while the main Victoria Highway was 5m under the flooded Dunham River at Kununurra late on Thursday, cutting off the town as well as Wyndham from supplies from the east. Four houses in Kununurra were inundated, while Ellenbrae Station, 125km WSW of Wyndham, has been evacuated. Other evacuations are likely as rain continues and floodwaters rise. Across the border in the NT, rain has been lighter but moderate flooding continues in the Daly River to the east of the WA/NT border.
Responsible for the rain is a tropical low that has been stationary in or near the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf for five days after tracking east from the Gulf of Carpentaria along the monsoonal trough early in the week.
QLD: High seas as TC Wati heads for New Zealand
Category 3 Tropical Cyclone Wati, visible on the surface charts below, has raised large seas off the southern QLD and northern NSW coasts. The wave rider buoy off Brisbane today recorded significant wave heights between 4 and 5m, with several maximum wave heights between 8 and 9m. Strong winds continue at exposed coastal locations, with Cape Moreton recording a maximum wind gust today of 91km/h. Wati's central pressure yesterday was 950hPa as it tracked southeastwards about 600km ENE of Brisbane. The cyclone, which formed in Fijian waters during the 18th at the same time as TC Larry was achieving cyclone status farther west, reached Category 3 status while about 600km NE of Mackay on Wednesday. It dropped below cyclone status late this afternoon and continued heading SE toward New Zealand.
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