D-Day as Cyclone Trevor to unleash its fury
ONE of the wildest cyclones in living memory will lash the Northern Territory mainland this morning.
The destructive core of severe Tropical Cyclone Trevor, packing wind gusts up to 275km/h, is expected to make landfall at 10am between Borroloola and the NT/QLD border as a Category 4 system.
Emergency services have not ruled out the possibility of the cyclone ratcheting up to a Category 5 system as the cyclone intensifies in the Gulf of Carpentaria.
The eye of the cyclone is estimated between 30-50km wide.
A Cyclone Warning remains in place from Cape Shield to Karumba and inland to Creswell Downs.
Bureau of Meteorology NT manager Todd Smith said coastal communities can expect dangerous storm tides, destructive winds and heavy rainfall when the cyclone hits.
"This is a very dangerous tropical cyclone," he said.
"There is uncertainty of where it will cross (the mainland), so people will need to be advanced in their planning."
After making landfall the cyclone is expected to move south west into the Barkly region.
"As the system continues to track inland and weaken below cyclone strength, we are expecting strong winds and heavy rainfall that could lead to flash flooding right down into the Barkly, including Tennant Creek," Mr Smith said.
Communities on Groote Eylandt last night took shelter as the cyclone swept south of the island.
Many from those communities were evacuated to Darwin, but those who remained, particularly in the communities of Angurugu and Alyangula, were told to brace for gale force winds.
A communications blackout hit the island on Friday with landline, mobile and internet services disconnected.
The Northern Territory Emergency Service (NTES) implored those anywhere near the cyclone's strike zone to immediately prepare themselves, their families and their homes.
"This cyclone is going to be dynamic and it's going to move fast," said NTES chief officer Jason Collins
"Those in remote communities who aren't used to cyclonic conditions need to start preparing their homes, removing all debris and securing any loose items."
The cyclone has the potential to damage critical infrastructure, with the Power and Water Corporation advising that water supplies in Borroloola, Groote Eylandt, Ngukurr, and Numbulwar could be compromised.
The Department of Health on Friday recommended any individuals in these areas to use boiled or bottled water for drinking, cooking and teeth cleaning should water supplies fail.