Many West Australians are bracing for flash flooding and property damage as Tropical Cyclone Joyce intensifies off the state’s coast.
A red alert has been issued for Broome to Bidyadanga in the Kimberley region, with the cyclone predicted to reach a Category 3 as it makes landfall today.
“There is a threat to lives and homes. You are in danger and need to act immediately,” Emergency WA warned people in the red alert area.
Affected residents have been told to shelter in the most secure parts of their homes until authorities give an “all clear”.
Winds of more than 130km/h and widespread daily rainfall totals of about 50 to 150mm are expected, with isolated heavier falls of 150 to 300mm are also possible.
A yellow alert has been issued for the south of Beagle Bay to Broome, and also for the region south of Bidyadanga to Wallall.
Residents in the yellow alert should secure all outdoor items, place their vehicles under cover, ensure all animals are in a safe area and prepare a relocation kit.
A blue alert has been issued for residents from Wallal to Whim Creek in the Pilbara region, with areas affected including Port Hedland, South Hedland, Marble bar, Nullagine, Telfer and surrounding communities.
People within those areas have also been advised to prepare their homes for dangerous weather, secure all loose material, and prepare an emergency kit and plan.
Those living in or near Tom Price have been issued an “all clear” but have been advised to exercise caution on roads, obey all road closure signs and avoid floodwaters.
Meanwhile, Qantas, Virgin, and Skippers Aviation have cancelled flights in and out of tourist hotspot Broome.
The Great Northern Highway has also been shut down.
News of the cyclone’s approach has sparked last-minute shopping, with local supplies of fresh fruit and vegetables running low.
“I’m an ex-Cyclone Tracy survivor so I absolutely despise (cyclones)… I don’t want to be out there, ” one shopper told 9NEWS.
Police have acknowledged that maintaining supplies to parts of WA was a serious concern, after crashes blocked major highways connecting the Kimberley to Perth.
Cyclone Joyce comes just two weeks after Cyclone Hilda lashed Broome, with clean-up from that storm still incomplete.