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Flood in Australia’s North Concerns Ease, Ex-cyclone Weakens

Concerns over flooding have eased in the Top End with the intensity of former tropical cyclone Ellie at last subsiding over the southwestern Northern Territory.

A series of earlier severe weather warnings for remote communities in the Simpson, Lasseter and Tanami districts were cancelled by authorities on Sunday morning.

The region had been bracing for impact as Ellie moved back into the Northern Territory (NT) after wreaking havoc in Western Australia.

“Ex-tropical cyclone Ellie has finally weakened over southwestern parts of the NT,” the Bureau of Meteorology said.

“Severe weather is no longer occurring in Northern Territory. Thunderstorm activity in the Simpson district later today may bring isolated heavy rainfall and a severe thunderstorm warning will be issued if this occurs.”

While the immediate threat has passed, the situation will continue to be monitored.

West Australian authorities and the Australian Defence Force are meanwhile supporting towns in the Kimberley region after rain generated by Ellie caused Fitzroy River to break its banks.

Record-breaking flooding continues in the catchment.

The remote town of Fitzroy Crossing and tiny Indigenous community of Noonkanbah were devastated after the river last week reached a record peak of 15.81 metres.

The rain cleared on Saturday, making it once again safe to open the Fitzroy Crossing airport.

That allowed authorities to deliver 3000 kilograms of food, medicine and other supplies to the cut-off region.

More than 100 residents have already been evacuated from the Kimberley but more may be relocated in the coming days as flooding continues in the towns of Looma and Willare.

WA Emergency Services Minister Stephen Dawson spoke to locals at Fitzroy Crossing on Saturday afternoon and thanked the community for their resilience.

“Nothing like this has ever been experienced in Western Australia before,” he told reporters.

“To their great credit, they’ve been patient and they’ve persevered.”

Authorities in Queensland say severe thunderstorms and heavy rain are possible on Sunday for the state’s north and west.

The communities of Palmerville, Georgetown, Mount Isa, Cloncurry, Urandangi and Boulia are all in the firing line.

Residents in NSW’s far west are also being warned that the Darling River is yet to peak.

The town of Menindee has already been inundated but the river could rise to more than 10.7 metres in the coming days, which is higher than the 1976 record.

Nina Nguyen

Nina Nguyen is a reporter based in Sydney. She covers Australian news with a focus on social, cultural, and identity issues. She is fluent in Vietnamese. Contact her at nina.nguyen@epochtimes.com.au.

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