849 - Severe Tropical Cyclone Trevor - March 2019

Official Name of Eligible DRFA Event: Severe Tropical Cyclone Trevor – March 2019

Australian Government Reference Number: 849

Local Government Areas Affected: Barkly, Central Desert, East Arnhem, Roper Gulf

Available Categories of Assistance under DRFA 2018 Determination:

  • Category A – 4.2.2 a) Emergency food, clothing or temporary accommodation
  • Category A – 4.2.2 b) Repair or replacement of essential items of furniture and personal effects
  • Category A – 4.2.2 c) Essential repairs to housing, including temporary repairs and repairs necessary to restore housing to a habitable condition
  • Category A – 4.2.2 e) Removal of debris from residential properties to make them safe and habitable
  • Category A – 4.2.2 f) Extraordinary counter disaster operations for the benefit of an affected individual
  • Category A – 4.2.2 h) Employment of a Community Recovery Officer
  • Category B – 4.3.2 a) Counter disaster operations for the protection of the general public
  • Category B – 4.3.2 b) Emergency works for essential public assets
  • Category B - 4.3.2 c) Immediate reconstruction works for essential public assets
  • Category B – 4.3.2 d) Essential public asset reconstruction works for which the state develops an estimated reconstruction cost in accordance with these arrangements.

Agencies must provide reconstruction cost estimates within 10 months of the event – 31 January 2020

Media Releases

The following media release was issued relating to this natural disaster event:

Joint Media Release – Cyclone Trevor

Summary of Event

On 19 March Severe Tropical Cyclone (STC) Trevor first made landfall on the Queensland coast near Lockhart River as a category 3 cyclone, declining to a category 1 as it crossed land at the top of Cape York Peninsula and returning to water across the Gulf of Carpentaria and re-intensifying.

On Saturday 23 March 2019 STC Trevor made landfall on the Northern Territory coast, between Port McArthur and the Northern Territory / Queensland border as a category 4 cyclone.

The Bureau of Meteorology originally forecast that STC Trevor would travel directly across the Gulf of Carpentaria, impacting Groote Eylandt and surrounding communities. Evacuation of the remote communities within its projected path commenced. The system changed course late Thursday 21 March, veering south to make landfall on Saturday 23 March as a severe tropical cyclone category 4 between the Northern Territory/Queensland border and Port McArthur. STC Trevor impacted the townships of Borroloola, Robinson River, Wollogorang, Cape Crawford, Creswell Downs and surrounding areas.

With the assistance of the Australian Defence Force, evacuation shelters were opened at the Foskey Pavilion, Marrara Stadium and Katherine Show Grounds to provide emergency shelter for over 2000 evacuees. This is the largest evacuation since Cyclone Tracy.

Once the cyclone passed, recovery commenced and repatriation of residents back to communities began on Sunday 24 March. STC Trevor continued across land, reaching as far south as the Simpson Desert and causing widespread flooding across multiple regions.

Summary of Significant Relief and Recovery Achievements to Date

Severe Tropical Cyclone Trevor brought heavy rain and wind gusts in excess of 230 kilometres per hour. Destructive winds and heavy rainfall from STC Trevor caused significant damage along the Top End north coast at the townships of Borroloola, Robinson River and Creswell Downs, including the closure of state and local roads. Flooding occurred across the Roper Gulf, Barkly and Central Desert regions.

Enquiries for Available Measures of Assistance

To enquire about Category A assistance for the personal hardship and distress assistance, please contact your local Territory Families office or secureNT.

To enquire about Category B assistance for the restoration or replacement of essential public assets or counter disaster operations assistance, please contact either the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics or call (08) 8924 7530, alternatively, please contact the Department of Housing and Community Development or call (08) 8924 3644.

For further information on recovery assistance, please visit the Australian Government's Disaster Assist website.

Last updated: 01 May 2019