Cyclone Rusty bearing down on WA with 120km/hr winds

Cyclone Rusty is looming off the Western Australian coastline.
Cyclone Rusty is looming off the Western Australian coastline.

RESIDENTS in Western Australia are bracing for a category three cyclone which has already seen 120 kilometre per hour winds at Port Hedland.

The Bureau of Meteorology on Tuesday morning issued a cyclone warning for the coastal areas from Bidyadanga to Mardie, and adjacent inland areas of the Pilbara, including Marble Bar, Nullagine and Millstream.

Severe Tropical Cyclone Rusty was moving southwest at five kilometres an hour.

"The slow motion and large size of Rusty means that the destructive and very destructive winds will occur on the coast well before the centre crosses the coast, and will extend some distance from the centre.

"Wind gusts to 120 kilometres per hour are already being experienced in Port Hedland and conditions there are likely to get slowly worse during Tuesday and into Wednesday.,'' an official warning said.

"Gales are occuring on the coast between Sandfire Roadhouse and Whim Creek, with destructive winds extending from near Port Hedland to around Wallal.

"Gales may extend west to Karratha and begin to extend inland towards Marble Bar and Millstream on Wednesday.''

>> Keep track of Tropical Cyclone Rusty here

Brent Rudler, who is running a bottle shop in Port Hedland said residents were already taking the advice to evacuate seriously.

"You can't buy a bottle of water in town for any money," Mr Rudler told Radio 6PR.

"I've told my staff today there is 400 millimetres of it coming, so they should just stick a bucket outside."

Destructive winds in excess of 165km/h are likely in WA, says bureau

The bureau said very destructive winds with gusts in excess of 165 kilometres per hour are likely between Whim Creek and Pardoo during Wednesday as Severe Tropical Cyclone Rusty approaches the coast.

"This is a large tropical cyclone and its slow movement is likely to result in an extended period of destructive winds near the track, with rainfall that is heavier than that associated with a typical system.

"During Tuesday and Wednesday widespread very heavy rainfall is likely to lead to major flooding  in the De Grey catchment. Significant flooding is also likely in the Fortescue catchment and in Pilbara coastal streams.

Cyclone Rusty is expected to cause a very dangerous storm time, damaging waves and very dangerous coastal inundation.

Topics:  cyclone flooding natural disasters weather

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