North West residents are facing the prospect of one more late season cyclone two weeks after ex-severe tropical cyclone Veronica caused widespread flooding and thousands of cattle deaths across the Pilbara coast.
The Bureau of Meteorology has advised a tropical low forming off the Northern Territory coast has up to a 50 per cent chance intensifying this weekend as it moves west into Kimberley waters. Mid-range modelling suggests Port Hedland and City of Karratha residents still cleaning up from Veronica may be in for a coastal crossing next week, though there is a high degree of uncertainty this far out.
It is likely the system will at very least bring some relieving rains to the Kimberley region from as early as Friday afternoon. Pilbara pastoralists are still counting the cost of of livestock losses after more than 500mm of rain fell in some coastal areas in late March. Bettini Beef owner Mark Bettini said it was likely he had lost more than 1,500 cattle to hypothermia and drowning across the five stations in his portfolio.
“I would say 1500 dead cattle is a conservative estimate and it is likely more would be found,” he said.
On the positive side, Mr Bettini said the rain was “liquid gold” for the properties, which had been enduring drought-like conditions. The last meaningful rain that Mallina and Sherlock received was 50mm in July last year, but that hardly quenched the thirst of already extremely dry country. Mr Bettini warned locals could face confronting images of decaying cattle and wildlife on the sides of roads.
Source – https://thewest.com.au