Warning to prepare for severe weather

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Residents in coastal areas between Exmouth and Augusta are specifically warned of the potential of a dangerous storm tide. File picture

THE Bureau of Meteorology says a tropical system is combining with a cold front and trough to produce a vigorous weather system that will affect the length of the west coast during today and Monday.

A deep low pressure system is expected to pass near the South West of the state tonight, with the possibility of other lows forming along the trough as it impacts western parts of WA during today.

Widespread severe weather is expected while dangerous weather may occur in some parts, particularly in the vicinity of the lows.

The following alert has been issued by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES).

Please note this alert has been upgraded to Take Action Now, including for the Perth Metropolitan Region.

This is a rare event for WA particularly due to the extent of the area affected and the possibility of multiple areas of dangerous weather.

Time of issue: 09:29 AM
Date of issue: 24 May 2020

Take action with severe weather coming in parts of the Pilbara, Midwest-Gascoyne, Goldfields-Midlands, Perth Metropolitan, Great Southern, South West, Lower South West

If you live in Gascoyne, Central West, Lower West, South West, South Coastal, Great Southern, Central Wheat Belt and parts of Pilbara, Goldfields and South East Coastal districts you should take action and stay safe with severe weather to come.

Locations which may be affected include Albany, Bunbury, Busselton, Carnarvon, Esperance, Exmouth, Geraldton, Kalbarri, Kalgoorlie, Katanning, Mandurah, Manjimup, Margaret River, Meekatharra, Merredin, Moora, Mount Barker, Mount Magnet, Narrogin, Norseman, Northam, Onslow and Perth.

This is unusual weather that could cause damage to homes and make travel dangerous.

WHAT TO DO:
DFES advises you to:

  • If outside find safe shelter away from trees, powerlines, storm water drains and streams.
  • Close your curtains and blinds, and stay inside away from windows.
  • Unplug electrical appliances and avoid using landline telephones if there is lightning.
  • If there is flooding, create your own sandbags by using pillow cases filled with sand and place them around doorways to protect your home.
  • If boating, swimming or surfing leave the water.

IF DRIVING:

  • Do not drive into water of unknown depth and current.
  • Slow down, turn your lights on and keep a safe distance from other drivers.
  • Be alert and watch for hazards on the road such as fallen powerlines and loose debris.
  • If it is raining heavily and you cannot see, pull over and park with your hazard lights on until the rain clears.
  • Take care in areas that have been flooded and be careful driving on gravel roads as surfaces will be slippery and muddy, and vehicles could become bogged.

People are being urged to do what they can to help themselves, if it is safe to do so, before calling the SES for assistance

WEATHER DETAILS:
At 24/05/2020 08:54:00 the Bureau of Meteorology advised a tropical system is combining with a cold front and trough to produce a vigorous weather system that will affect the length of the west coast during today and Monday. A deep low pressure system is expected to pass near the South West of the state tonight, with the possibility of other lows forming along the trough as it impacts western parts of WA during today. Widespread severe weather is expected from later this morning. Dangerous weather may occur in some parts, particularly in the vicinity of the lows. WIDESPREAD DAMAGING WINDS, averaging 60 to 70 kilometres per hour with peak gusts to around 100 kilometres per hour are likely and could cause DAMAGE TO HOMES AND PROPERTY. DAMAGING WINDS are forecast to develop in coastal areas between Onslow and Geraldton, including Geraldton, Exmouth, Carnarvon and Denham, during this morning. DAMAGING WINDS will extend to southwest of a line from Onslow to Meekatharra to Kalgoorlie to Esperance, including the Perth Metropolitan area, Mandurah, Bunbury, Busselton and Albany during this afternoon and evening. Locally DANGEROUS WINDS, averaging 80 to 90 kilometres per hour with peak gusts of around 130 kilometres per hour are possible near the low pressure systems during this afternoon and overnight. DANGEROUS WINDS could cause SIGNIFICANT DAMAGE OR DESTRUCTION TO HOMES AND PROPERTY. Winds are expected to ease across the Pilbara and Gascoyne overnight tonight and through the South West Land Division during Monday. HEAVY RAINFALL that may lead to FLASH FLOODING is possible northwest of a line from Kalbarri to Onslow during today with isolated rainfall totals to around 100 millimetres. HEAVY RAINFALL may also occur southwest of a line from Kalbarri to Albany from this afternoon with isolated rainfall totals to around 70 millimetres. Residents in coastal areas between Exmouth and Augusta are specifically warned of the POTENTIAL OF A DANGEROUS STORM TIDE. Tides are likely to rise SIGNIFICANTLY ABOVE THE NORMAL HIGH TIDE MARK with DAMAGING WAVES and DANGEROUS FLOODING. DAMAGING SURF CONDITIONS are likely which could cause SIGNIFICANT BEACH EROSION. 94 kilometres per hour has been recorded at North Island at 7:38am Sunday. The observed tides are Busselton 1.7 metres and rising, Bunbury 1.5 metres and rising, Jurien Bay 1.6 metres and rising. This is a rare event for WA particularly due to the extent of the area affected and the possibility of multiple areas of dangerous weather.

ROAD CLOSURES AND CONDITIONS:

Some roads may be closed

Take extra care on the roads and do not drive into water of unknown depth and current.

Road information may also be available from Main Roads WA by calling 138 138 or visiting travelmap.mainroads.wa.gov.au or by contacting your Local Government.

WHAT EMERGENCY SERVICES ARE DOING:

  • DFES is monitoring the situation.
  • State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers respond on a priority basis and people are asked to remain patient.

IF YOU NEED ASSISTANCE:

  • If your home has been badly damaged by a storm, call the SES on 132 500
  • In a life threatening situation call 000

After a storm SES volunteers make temporary repairs to homes that have been badly damaged, such as roofs that have been ripped off or large fallen trees on homes or cars. Please contact your insurance company to organise permanent repairs.

KEEP UP TO DATE:
Visit www.emergency.wa.gov.au, call 13 DFES (13 3337), follow DFES on Twitter: https://twitter.com/dfes_wa, Facebook: https://facebook.com/dfeswa/, listen to ABC Local Radio, 6PR, or news bulletins.

During a power outage, your home phone, computer or other electronic devices connected to the NBN will not work. Include a battery powered radio in your emergency kit.

Updates will be provided when the situation changes.