Somewhere to call home for cyclone evacuees

Camp beds are being set up at the Katherine Showgrounds for the cyclone evacuees. Picture: Roxanne Fitzgerald.
Camp beds are being set up at the Katherine Showgrounds for the cyclone evacuees. Picture: Roxanne Fitzgerald.

Camp beds are being set up in pavilions at the Katherine Showgrounds in preparation for TC Trevor evacuees.

Even new Portacots are being provided for any babies among those who will be calling Katherine home for the next few days.

The first load of evacuees from the NT's east coast is expected to arrive in a convoy of buses in the next few hours.

An evacuation centre is being established at the Katherine Showgrounds.

Even new Portacots are being provided for any babies among those who will be calling Katherine home for the next few days.

Even new Portacots are being provided for any babies among those who will be calling Katherine home for the next few days.

Katherine Town Council this morning advised it has been instructed by the NT Government to close the showgrounds to the public.

Entry to the showgrounds now only applies to evacuees and authorised personnel.

It is still uncertain how many people from coastal communities and fleeing TC Trevor will make Katherine their home for the next few days.

Given that the cyclone is gathering in strength and could cause severe damage in those communities, it may be longer than a few days.

Some regular sporting activities were cancelled at the Katherine Showgrounds last night in the eventuality the showgrounds will be hosting hundreds of people from as early as today.

It is understood a bus convoy has already left those areas for Katherine.

Residents along the eastern edge of the NT including Borroloola, Numbulwar, Ngukurr, Groote Eylandt including Alyangula, Angurugu, Umbakumba and Bickerton Island; and Nhulunbuy including Yirrkala are being evacuated.

Residents along the eastern edge of the NT including Borroloola, Numbulwar, Ngukurr, Groote Eylandt including Alyangula, Angurugu, Umbakumba and Bickerton Island; and Nhulunbuy including Yirrkala are being evacuated.

Residents along the eastern edge of the NT including Borroloola, Numbulwar, Ngukurr, Groote Eylandt including Alyangula, Angurugu, Umbakumba and Bickerton Island; and Nhulunbuy including Yirrkala are being evacuated.

TC Trevor is now expected to make landfall in these areas as a category four severe cyclone on Saturday but winds will pick up tomorrow.

Marine conditions in the gulf are forecast to deteriorate today.

A Tropical Cyclone Watch has been issued for Nhulunbuy to the Queensland border, including Groote Eylandt, with parts of the region currently preparing for evacuation to Darwin and Katherine.

Emergency services expect Katherine will be well clear of any danger given TC Trevor's current track.

As TC Trevor moves toward the NT, it will bring heavy rain and an increased chance of monsoon development.

While the entire Top End remains desperate for a strong finish to the wet season, it does not appear TC Trevor will deliver it.

The latest track: Graphic: Bureau of Meteorology.

The latest track: Graphic: Bureau of Meteorology.

The Bureau of Meteorology has said while the then tropical depression is unlikely to bring much rain to the Top End as it heads south, there is "an increased chance of monsoon development" but current forecasts do not reflect that.

Darwin needs more than 137mm by the end of April to avoid its driest wet season on record.

Katherine has had less than 30mm for the month so far against an average of 168mm.

In the latest bureau update, TC Trevor is located over the eastern Gulf of Carpentaria and is expected to rapidly intensify to a category 3 cyclone in the next six hours.

"TC Trevor will intensify further as it adopts a more general west-southwest movement across the Gulf of Carpentaria on Thursday and Friday.

"It is likely to cross the Northern Territory coast during Saturday as a category 4 severe tropical cyclone."