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Destructive winds, heavy rain predicted from tropical cyclone set to hit Pilbara

Communities along Pilbara’s coast are bracing for a severe tropical cyclone to batter them with destructive winds and heavy rain on Friday.

The Weather Bureau is predicting a tropical low will form into a category three cyclone off WA’s northern coast in the early hours of Friday morning.

Tracking maps show Port Hedland is directly in the cyclone’s path.

Karratha could also feel the affects of the cyclone.

The cyclone is predicted to form out of a tropical low that has emerged in waters off Darwin’s coast.

The low is expected to move west south-west over waters north of WA and strengthen to a cyclone by Thursday.

Pilbara communities have been warned they could face “severe” weather impacts from Friday and into Saturday.

It has been nearly a year since a severe cyclone wrecked havoc across the region.

Tropical cyclone Damien brought recorded breaking winds, with gusts of 195km/h being recorded in Karratha in February last year.

A red alert was issued by authorities on February 7 for communities including Karratha, Dampier, Whim Creek, Point Samson, Cossack, Wickham, and Roebourne.

Roofs were lifted off, trees were toppled and windows blown as the storm tore through.

Tropical cyclone Damien.
Camera IconTropical cyclone Damien. Credit: Nick Bond/Facebook

Karratha resident Beau Corps sheltered under his kitchen table, with his cat Gary, after half his roof peeled off.

“The ceiling hadn’t gone but the roof had and I could see the light through the vents,” he said.

“I was about to run through the backyard to my brother’s house, who lives next door to me, but it was pretty strong wind, so I grabbed the cat and went under the kitchen table.”

More than 70mm of rain was capture in Karratha rain gauges during the storm.

The next cyclone to form in Australian waters will be called Lucas.

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