16 Feb 2011
TROPICAL Cyclone Carlos has dumped more rain on Darwin in a 24-hour period than Cyclone Yasi inflicted on any town in a single day.
Weather Channel senior meteorologist Dick Whitaker said Darwin recorded a total of 339.6mm of rain during the 24 hours ending at 9am today.
"This is an all time 24 hour rainfall record for the city," he said.
"The intensity of the cyclone may not change over the next 24 hours, but due to its slow movement, Carlos will remain a significant threat to Darwin, both in terms of flooding and wind damage".
Streets are flooded and a house and an ambulance have been crushed by falling trees as Cyclone Carlos bears down on Darwin.
Bars and pubs have been ordered to close tonight for safety reasons, and Darwin Airport has been closed.
Darwin and the Tiwi Islands continue to be lashed by heavy rain and strong winds, as category one Cyclone Carlos nears the coast.
Residents have been advised to formulate a plan of action.
Read more: http://www.news.com.au/national/darwin-battens-down-as-cyclone-fears-grow/story-e6frfkvr-1226006689829#ixzz1E6pr5d00
UPDATE 4pm: DARWIN residents are being warned about tidal surges and some have been evacuated at Cyclone Carlos hits the city.
Residents have been told to prepare for a huge tidal surge late this afternoon, with dozens of homes already damaged by the category 1 storm.
Several homes are already inundated amid widespread power blackouts, while trees have been ripped out of the ground by the wild weather.
At last report 9000 homes were without power, schools were shut, and authorities warned of a "massive tide" late this afternoon.
Continuous rain continues to pelt the city as coastal residents were told to prepare their evacuation plans.
Residents in low-lying coastal areas of Darwin have been warned their homes could be inundated by water as Tropical Cyclone Carlos continues to track north over the Northern Territory coast.
A cyclone warning is now current for coastal areas from Daly River Mouth to Goulburn Island, including Darwin, Croker Island and the Tiwi Islands.
Some residents in the Darwin suburb of Rapid Creek were evacuated last night, as swollen creeks damaged roads and caused power outages.
“This high tide, accompanied by possible storm surge, could result in the inundation of low-lying coastal areas such as Rapid Creek, Nightcliff and surrounding suburbs, an Northern Territory Emergency Service (NTES) spokeswoman said today.
“Members of the Northern Territory Police Force will be door-knocking this area to advise residents of the high tides over the next 24 to 36 hours.''
Much of the water that flooded roads on Tuesday subsided overnight, but the waterfront suburbs was littered with large trees wrenched from the sodden ground.
Long queues of people waited to get petrol and refill their gas bottles, ignoring calls from authorities to stay off the roads.
Others have stripped supermarkets of basic supplies.
Welfare shelters, which are not suitable to use as cyclone shelters, have been opened across the region for people forced to evacuate their homes due to fallen trees and storm surge activity.
A handful of homeless people, commonly referred to in the Territory as “long-grassers'', were escorted by police to a pavilion at the Darwin Showgrounds.
Northern Territory Emergency Services and Chief Minister Paul Henderson detailed the storm threat this morning, the Northern Territory News reports.
Mr Henderson warned Darwin residents to be careful even though it appeared conditions were easing.
Rain and wind is still expected to pick up dramatically this afternoon, he said.
"These events are very unpredictable," he said.
"This is going to evolve over the next couple of days, and I would ask everybody to get prepared."
The Met Bureau said there was "cyclone-like" wind and rain overnight.
Duty forecaster Mark Kersemakers said a tropical low was travelling along the coast less than 30km west of Darwin this morning.
Record torrential rain and winds up to 98km/h brought down power lines, toppled trees and caused widespread flooding.
Darwin International Airport and East Arm Wharf were closed.
Schools from Adelaide River to the Tiwi Islands and many workplaces were also shut.
Several traffic lights were out. Homes were inundated with water.
A crabber was rescued by Careflight after setting off his Epirb at Saltwater Arm.
And a yachtie was rescued in Darwin Harbour after his vessel broke its moorings.
A drink-driver from Jingili was arrested after running into a police van. He returned a blood-alcohol reading of .087.
A St John officer was injured when an ambulance carrying a patient was hit by a falling tree at Royal Darwin Hospital.
Early morning commuters found several main roads blocked by fallen trees and floodwater.
Read more of this story at the Northern Territory News.
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