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Widespread damage expected as cyclone strengthens

Roads were destroyed in WA's Kimberley region during widespread floods in January.

Roads were destroyed in WA's Kimberley region during widespread floods in January. Photo: AAP

Communities in the Kimberley have been warned to brace for widespread damage as a cyclone forming off Western Australia strengthens.

A tropical low in waters off the state’s north is expected to become a cyclone later on Monday, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

Communities north of Broome from Kuri Bay to Beagle Bay, excluding Derby, are on alert for gales, heavy rainfall and abnormally high tides.

The cyclone is expected to track southwest to waters off Broome by Wednesday and likely cause “severe impact” along the coast between the popular holiday town and Port Hedland on Thursday or Friday.

Senior meteorologist Dean Narramore told ABC TV winds near the core of the system could reach 250 kilometres an hour.

“Those kinds of winds are likely to see widespread property damage,” he told the broadcaster on Monday.

“Bring down trees, power lines, power outages and hundreds of millimetres of rainfall is likely to wash out roads.

“Possible isolation and stranding of communities, residents and travellers – so yeah, some really terrible conditions up there when it does cross later this week.”

Severe flooding hit parts of the Kimberley region in January, splitting the town of Fitzroy Crossing, destroying homes and roads and leaving many communities cut off with key transport routes closed.

– AAP

Topics: Kimberley
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