Partial Evacuation – Borroloola

NT Government

Territory Controller, Commissioner Michael Murphy said, “As late as lunchtime today, modelling through the Bureau of Meteorology and McArthur River Mine indicated that Borroloola township would not be severely affected and residents would be able to remain at home or within their community. This morning just 18 people chose to relocate from homelands communities into Borroloola.

“The latest modelling now shows the river will pass the predicted peak and previous record on Friday morning. Yanyula, Garrawa and parts of Borroloola are likely to be inundated.”

The Territory Emergency Operations Centre has put plans in place based on a flood model of 18 metres.

“At this level, several homes and homeland communities will be inundated, but the Borroloola town centre, including the shop and school, will remain above water level.

“The majority of the community can be safely accommodated in this area.

“RAAF planes are already on their way to Borroloola with 4 tonnes of food and water; these planes will bring the first 130 people to Darwin, where they will be accommodated at Foskeys Pavilion and Marrara Stadium. Those 130 will be identified by local authorities and health staff on the ground, based on their medical/care needs and on the likelihood of their homes being damaged by floodwaters for an extended period.”

Flights will depart every 40 minutes until dark, carrying up to 70 people at a time. The flights must be carried out during daylight hours due to aviation restrictions and will only proceed if aircraft are able to safely land at Borroloola.

Should this not be possible, all residents will be required to move to higher ground in Borroloola town centre where they will shelter until they can be safely relocated.

“The town centre itself will remain dry; we are working on a plan for a higher than forecast peak and the community will have access to food and shelter until the crisis is passed. Residents are to follow all police instructions,” Commissioner Murphy said.

“The local controller is on the ground and working with the community to coordinate welfare needs and ensure they are fully informed of these developments.”

Borroloola and Groote Eylandt remain under an Emergency Declaration.

/Public Release. View in full here.