Coral Bay - Cyclone Nicholas & Flooding.
Trip Start Feb 01, 2005
403Trip End Dec 31, 2018
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Where I stayed
However at midday on 16Th Feb, off Port Hedland, Nicholas again intensified to a CAT 3 severe tropical cyclone. Now it was getting some attention here in Coral Bay, with FESA monitoring being more frequent, but not too much to worry about. FESA authorities did concede that Nicholas had proven itself to be rather unpredictable and Coral Bay needed to go on alert, although it was still expected to cross before reaching us.
By Monday the 18Th Nicholas was still progressing down the coast and looking fairly ominous, however it was still expected to turn into the gulf
Tuesday morning the 19Th revealed that while Nicholas was weakening now back to a CAT 2, it was still on a path that could lead it to Coral Bay, we at Bayview had already ceased taking new guests and suggesting to any guests remaining, particularly campers they should consider moving South to Carnarvon. Many had over the last two days, voluntarily packed and left. Several town meetings were held to digest the reports coming in from FESA and two police officers from Carnarvon had arrived to coordinate any actions required
The wind at this stage was building and while not scary as such, never the less quite impressive. There was little point in us staying up, given FESA control were monitoring the blow and given we were on code red making it unlawful to leave a building, decided instead to sleep to be fresh if required should the situation worsen. At sometime between midnight and 4pm Nicholas passed Coral Bay at about 30km west and eventually crossed the coast 60 km south of Coral Bay at 10am Wed Feb 20Th as a CAT 1 and quickly deteriorated into a rain bearing depression.
A drive around early Wed morning with our camera revealed a considerable presence of wind, and some damage, the most severe being the roof of the big brother staff quarters being slammed into the court yard, proving evacuation was a sound decision
Considerable rain had fallen throughout the area which resulted in land locked Lake Macleod filling, the result of this was that the next lot of rain had no escape causing the Lyndon River to flood the Minilya road and Barribiddy creek the North West Highway. Coral Bay was completely cut off for about a week until the creeks at Exmouth and on Burkett road subsided giving access to the North and Barribiddy also subsided allowing traffic to flow south and come the long way to Coral Bay. Minilya road was about three weeks before it could open.
Footnote: We have since developed a very comprehensive emergency cyclone plan for Bayview.