Issued: Tuesday, 3 January 2023
Ex-Tropical Cyclone Ellie lies between Broome and Fitzroy Crossing and is expected to slowly track west to be centred just east of Broome by Wednesday morning.
Heavy rainfall is likely to impact Broome, Roebuck Plains and the Dampier Peninsular from Tuesday to Thursday and gale force winds are possible.
Daily rainfall amounts of 100-200 mm with isolated falls of 250 mm and very isolated falls of 300 mm are possible.
Over the past week, very high rainfall totals of 250-500 mm have been observed in northern Western Australia associated with Ellie, including 823 mm at Diamond Gorge.
The Fitzroy River at Fitzroy Crossing was at 15.29 metres and rising at midday on Tuesday, exceeding the previous record in 2002 of 13.95 metres. Further rises are possible as upstream floodwaters arrive, and the Fitzroy River at Fitzroy Crossing may reach around 15.60 metres later Tuesday.
Floodwater has triggered the need for multiple evacuations, relocation of community members and transit to high ground or Broome.
Flooding downstream is expected to exceed 2002 levels at Noonkanbah, Looma and Willare.
This flooding is impacting road conditions in the Fitzroy River catchment. Many roads are impassable, and most communities are now isolated.
The Bureau will continue to monitor the situation and update warnings and forecasts as required.