Tropical Cyclone Rusty is squatting over the Pilbara, bringing extremely heavy rainfall and very dangerous winds to a vast swathe of the West Australian coast.
The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a cyclone warning for coastal areas from Bidyadanga to Mardie including Port Hedland, Karratha and Dampier, and adjacent inland areas of the Pilbara, including Marble Bar, Nullagine and Millstream.
The State Emergency Service (SES) says communities between Pardoo and Whim Creek, including Port Hedland and South Hedland are on a Red Alert and people need to go to shelters immediately.
A Yellow alert has been extended inland to include Marble Bar as well as communities between Wallal and Pardoo.
At 5.00 pm (WST) Tropical Cyclone Rusty, a Category 3 storm, was estimated to be 125 kilometres north-northeast of Port Hedland and moving south-southwest at 4 kilometres per hour towards the coast.
The Bureau warns the slow motion and large size of Rusty means very destructive winds will hit the WA coast well before the eye of the storm.
Wind gusts of 120 kilometres per hour have already hit Port Hedland and gale force winds will rip along the coast between Sandfire Roadhouse and Whim Creek, with the destructive winds extending from near Port Hedland to around Wallal.
The Bureau is warning of very destructive winds of up to 165 kph between Whim Creek and Pardoo during Wednesday.Severe Tropical Cyclone Rusty's intensity, size and slow movement is also likely to lead to a very dangerous storm tide as the cyclone centre nears the coast.
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