WHERE DID ALL THE WATER GO?
I THOUGHT GLOBAL WARMING WAS RAISING THE WATER LEVELS!
compiled by Dee Finney
Venice is stuck in the mud as tide plummets
By Philip Willan in Venice
6:17pm GMT 19/02/2008
Gondolas have been left stranded in mud
along Venice's Grand Canal after the city witnessed one of its
lowest ever tides.
Ferry companies and
private boats had to find new routes around
the Italian city when the water level fell
to about 30 inches below sea level, the
lowest figure recorded for the past 14
Dozens of calls were made to the fire
brigade from vessels that had become stuck
in the mud, while hopping on and off the
vaporetti, or water buses, was made
hazardous by the steepness of the wooden
While the long-term survival of Venice is
threatened by flooding due to the rising sea
level, an entire year has passed without
significant high tides.
"This is the season -
February and March - when we normally have
very low tides, but in recent years they
have been lower than ever," said Moreno
Padoan, a water-taxi operator waiting for
customers near the Rialto Bridge.
"It makes life difficult
for us. You have to be careful that your
propeller doesn't get stuck. Normally the
problem is the high water, so we are not
used to this."
He said despite warnings
that global warming would melt glaciers and
raise the sea level, Venetians had
historically faced exceptionally high tides,
with many deaths attributed to flooding in
the 16th century.
But the exceptional "drought" in Venice
doesn't actually mean that the scientists are wrong.
"This phenomenon is the result of
exceptional weather conditions: a combination of high pressure
and prevailing winds," said Leonardo Cossutta, the head of the
office responsible for monitoring Venice's tides.
“It doesn't mean that the problem of global
warming has been resolved. Rising seawater means low tides
will be less frequent, but it's a slow process."
The lowest tide of the last quarter century,
36 inches below sea level, was recorded in February 1989.
The level of the world's oceans has risen by
3.5 inches over the past century, while subsidence has
resulted in Venice sinking nine inches into the lagoon.
Debate continues as to what should be done
to solve the opposite problem of flooding. Work is under way
to build a gigantic flood barrier known as the "Mose",
intended to close the lagoon when flood tides are running in.
The Nuova Venezia newspaper has denounced
the construction of four "monstrous" cement pylons as part of
It complained that the 98ft-tall structures
were already ruining the skyline near the Arsenale.
Gondolas stuck in mud in rare low tide
From correspondents in Venice
February 20, 2008 09:08am
NO gondola rides were on offer in Venice yesterday as the canal city
known for its struggle with ever-rising water levels was instead
left high and dry by an exceptionally low tide.
Experts predicted that water would be 70cm below sea level after
a record 80cm below was set on Monday, the ANSA news agency reported.
Some canals were emptied down to their mud bottoms in a
phenomenon that is expected to last until the weekend in the
Renaissance city that attracted some 20 million visitors last year.
Gondolas were stranded in the mud, while landing platforms that
normally float on the water were seen tilted at giddy angles.
Water buses known as vaporetti had to change their routes to
avoid running aground, the daily La Stampa reported.
The lowest level reached before Monday's record was minus 77cm
In January last year Venice saw four consecutive days of low
tide averaging 70cm below sea level.
The more common scourge of "acqua alta" (high water) reached
109cm above sea level last November, while the record remains the
194cm of November 1966, when much of Italy suffered catastrophic
Meanwhile experts predict higher water than ever next year,
according to a complex mathematical model, ANSA said.
Venice has become increasingly vulnerable over time, suffering
more than 50 significant floods between 1993 and 2002 and sinking
about 23cm over the course of the twentieth century.
The government launched the multi-billion-euro "Moses" plan in
2003 to build 78 mobile dikes together to be situated at either end of
The work is scheduled for completion in 2012.
December 28, 2007
Low tide plagues
Keystone-Port Townsend ferry run
Washington (STPNS) -- Two weeks after private whale-watching
vessels were hired to provide ferry service on the
Keystone-Port Townsend crossing, windy weather and low tides
have caused significantly more cancellations than expected.
And with the holiday travel rush increasing the number of people
seeking to board the smaller boats, ferry workers have found
themselves having to intervene when aggressive travelers push ahead
in the waiting line to try to assure themselves a place on board.
Washington State Ferries, 34 one-way trips have been canceled
between Dec. 13 and Dec. 25, leaving many commuters and holiday
travelers to make other arrangements to travel between
Whidbey Island and the
Olympic Peninsula. In some cases, the number of passengers
exceeded the amount of indoor seating on the small tour boats,
forcing people to stand in the aisle. And on several occasions
during the Christmas holiday travel rush, passengers had to be left
behind because the small tour boat was full.
Sundried tide — silent, natural disaster
10:51 PM Wed
13 Feb 2008 GMT
Australian researchers have studied and documented the effect of the
'sundried tide', a force of nature that can silently wipe out coral
Their analyses have revealed for the first time that these are highly
predictable events that can seriously impact the state of coral reefs at
a time when they are preparing for the stresses of summer.
In a paper published in scientific journal Marine Biology, Dr Ken
Anthony and Dr Ailsa Kerswell, of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral
Reef Studies (CoECRS) have revealed that extreme low tides on clear
sunny days can lead to widespread damage of coastal coral colonies.
'Really low tides, where the local sea level gets to its extreme low for
the year, can occur at different times of the day,' UQ's Dr Anthony
'In years where this occurs during the middle of the day when the
sunlight is at its most intense and the reefs are almost fully exposed,
there is a real risk of severe coral stress and death in the shallow
Just like cyclones and other natural disasters, these severe ‘sun-dry
tides' rarely occurred since they relied on the alignment of numerous
natural extremes, he said.
However, when these factors all aligned, by a combination of sun, moon
and chance weather, an extreme event occurred which could leave coral
colonies bleached and devastated.
One such event occurred in September 2005 while Dr Anthony and Dr
Kerswell were taking JCU students on a field trip to Orpheus Island off
the Queensland coast.
“While doing some field work we noticed that all the corals in the area
were about to die, so we took the opportunity to record the event,” Dr
Their observations led Dr Anthony and Dr Kerswell to investigate the
mysterious coral deaths on Orpheus Island — a study which would reveal
that what they had witnessed was a rare event, the extent of which had
never previously been recorded on the Great Barrier Reef.
“At first we thought it was a major outbreak of disease,' Dr Kerswell
'We collected samples and took hundreds of photos and sent a series off
to colleagues to be analysed. The response was that it was not a
disease, but something else.
“[So] we looked back through hourly records of tidal patterns over the
previous eight years and combined it with data on solar records and
Dr Anthony said the researchers aligned what the tide would do with the
sun and weather patterns and ran an analysis of the risk of corals being
out of the water and exposed to the sun.
During September 2005 Dr Anthony, Dr Kerswell and the students were
present the week following a rare extremely low tide during which the
sun had been shining from a clear sky.
These 'natural disasters' occur silently but can devastate the tidal
zone. From past records Dr Anthony estimated that the September 2005
event was the worst in the eight-year record.
However, the 'sundried tides' could also be anticipated.
'These events are highly predictable,' Dr Anthony said.
'We can go into the weather reports, align them with tidal charts and
predict the times of greatest risk.
'The high-risk time of year is July–October, when corals are building up
resources for spawning and preparing for summer stressors such as
Since studying the cause and impacts of these major events, Dr Anthony
hopes that their predictable nature will lead to improved warning
systems and better models for predicting stress and mortality in corals.
Although predictable and natural, 'sundried tides' were unavoidable and
compounded the stresses already felt by corals due to climate change and
human impacts, he said.
'However, if we better understand the timing and severity of natural
stressors on reefs, we will be able to better predict the risks of
human-induced stressors, and hopefully better manage for healthy reefs,'
Anthony, K and Kerswell, A (2007). Coral mortality following extreme low
tides and high solar radiation. Marine Biology 151(5): 1623-1631.
County begins dredging clogged bayous, creeks
Saturday, January 26, 2008
By VETO F. ROLEY
PASCAGOULA -- Thomas "Junior" Ferguson keeps a watch for low tide.
Ferguson, who runs Ferguson Fish Camp near the head of Four Mile Creek
in Escatawpa and owns a shrimp boat, said he has to be careful when
leaving the dock.
"I can't hardly get my boat out when it's low tide," he said. "There
are two or three places where I hit bottom."
Hurricane Katrina's storm surge plugged the mouths of a number of
streams along the Pascagoula and Escatawpa rivers. As a result, many of
the waterways used by residents along the rivers are closed except at high
Relief, though, could be coming as Jackson County supervisors are
trying to get as many waterways dredged as time and money permit.
Ferguson said winter is particularly hard on reaching the river as
winter low tides can be as much as 2 feet below summer low tides.
Bonnie Bradley, Ferguson's daughter, said users of the fish camp's
marina often have to paddle to get their boats from Four Mile Creek into
"You can't put the motor down unless you have a really short propeller
shaft," she said.
Ferguson, 77, has been in business on Four Mile Creek for 46 years. He
said his business has dropped off about 40 percent due to low water
preventing boats from getting to the river.
Four Mile Creek is not the only tributary needing dredging at its
During low tide, Albert Cochran Jr. said that Cochran Creek is 3 feet
wide and 1 foot deep at the mouth.
"You won't get (a large boat) out of here," he said.
Pointing to his flat-bottom skiff, he said he had difficulty getting it
out of Cochran Creek and into the Pascagoula River.
"The low tides tell you where you can go and available times to go," he
Supervisor Manly Barton said the county knows there are a number of
waterways that need dredging.
"We have a list and are working it down," he said. The issue, he said,
is getting permits to dredge. The permitting process, in turn, often
requires expensive environmental studies of wetlands and the impact of
dredging to those wetlands.
Mark Seymour, whose firm the county hired to manage the work, said
dredging projects also require submerged species tests, soil testing,
sturgeon and endangered species surveys, archeological surveys, drainage
surveys and permission from the Mississippi Department of Environmental
Quality and other state and federal agencies.
As a result, he said, even simple projects can take years to get
permitted. Once permitted, he said county officials need to move fairly
quickly to do the work, since permits expire after three years.
John McKay, president of the Board of Supervisors, noted it took him
more than three years to get Davis Bayou permitted and four years to get
Mars Lake permitted for dredging.
But, for some residents, assistance may be on the way. Supervisors, for
instance, voted Tuesday to draw up bid documents for dredging the mouth of
Four Mile Creek and Keiffer Bayou from its mouth to Lorraine Circle in St.
Martin. Dredging Four Mile Creek will cost about $17,000. Dredging Keiffer
Bayou will cost about $65,000.
Barton said the county has permits for dredging those two areas.
Additionally, the county awarded Tony Parnell Construction a $2.98
million contract Tuesday to dredge six areas: St. Martin, Morten,
Graveline, Chicot and Fort bayous and the Ocean Springs Harbor.
Barton said Tony Parnell Construction has 30 days contractually before
it has to start work. He said the bayous will be completed according to a
"We need to start on dredging," said Barton, who added that the county
might need to increase funding for dredging. "We've done a good job on
finding alternative funding (such as Federal Emergency Management Agency
funds). But where we can't find alternative funding, it doesn't mean the
project shouldn't be done."
Reporter Veto F. Roley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Arctic blast coming today: snow showers, high winds
Posted Sunday, February 10, 2008
A wind advisory is in effect from 10 this morning to 10 tonight as an
arctic cold front moves into the region, the National Weather Service
Winds could gust to 50 mph with sustained winds of 25 to 35 mph from
the west, the service said, with the potential for damaging trees and
bringing down power lines.
Rain and scattered snow showers are possible this morning in Kent and New
Castle counties, but little or no accumulation is expected.
Temperatures will rise to the mid-40s this morning and then fall to around
freezing later in the day.
Tonight's low is expected to be in the mid-teens across Delaware, with a
wind-chill of minus 1 degree.
Monday is predicted to be sunny with a high around 29.
There's a chance of snow and rain in Tuesday's forecast.
Extremely low tides known as "blowout tides": are
possible tonight and Monday morning in the Delaware River, the Chesapeake
and Delaware bays and along the Atlantic coast
Winter Tides Move Manatees Into Traffic - Watch Out
Published: January 30, 2008
Updated: 01/28/2008 07:33 pm
Winter fishing turned colder with plenty of wind in the latter part of
North winds exacerbated extreme low tides and there were several days
where the oyster bar at the mouth of the Little Manatee River was out of
the water from sunrise to sunset.
Capt. Danny Guarino of Ruskin said he fished the river in some of the
worst weather and did poorly. Not only was there no water, there was no
The only jack crevalle he saw were the dead from the New Year's Day
cold front when water temperatures dropped more than 10 degrees overnight.
Fishing the flats was impossible, as there was no water all the way out to
the 6-foot line for several days.
Winter tides put much of the manatee protection zone high and dry
between Apollo Beach and Joe Island, especially when the wind honks out of
Where do the manatees go when the tides are this low? Outside of the
poles marking the 6-foot line, of course. Unfortunately, this is where all
the boat traffic is.
On Christmas Eve, I fished with my buddy Tom Rinehart, and we narrowly
missed four groups of manatees between Mangrove Point and E.G. Simmons
The only reason we missed them was because I was running at 3,000
revolutions per minute looking for cobia. People in much bigger, faster
boats would have blown right over them.
A week later in the same area, I saw four more pods of manatees 50
yards outside of the idle-speed zone. If there has not been a manatee hit
by a boat propeller on this stretch of water it's a miracle.
A little common sense would have gone a long way when it came to
deciding where to place the poles delineating the idle-speed zone. By
placing them on the edge of the drop off, it has manatees and boat traffic
running the same route between Apollo Beach and Mangrove Point.
To exacerbate the problem, the county sells permits to commercial
fishermen, crabbers and fishing guides that allows them to run inside the
poles on plane. I checked a month or so ago and found that the county has
issued 25 permits.
So you have 25 boats that can run inside the 6-foot line on plane. But
there is a catch: They are only allowed a maximum speed of 25 mph.
Most of the big bay boats favored by fishing guides will barely stay on
plane at that speed. The rest of the public is restricted to idle speed -
the slowest speed at which a boat moves forward.
In the meantime, all you can do if you travel the outside edge of the
manatee zone is to keep your eyes open and your speed down. The manatees
obviously can't read, and even if they could, there isn't enough water on
the flats this time of year to float one.
Fred Everson is a Ruskin fishing guide. All South Shore
fishermen and guides may submit information and photographs to be included
in this column by calling (813) 830-8890 or sending an e-mail to
Tides reveal remains of old shipwreck
Associated Press - January 21, 2008 11:45 AM ET
FLORENCE, Ore. (AP) - It happens every year at
about this time.
Winter currents and very low tides reveal the hull
of an old shipwreck on the beach near Florence. She
was the 121-foot-long "Bella".
Louis Campbell, who is curator of the Siuslaw
Pioneer Museum, says the Bella was a local vessel
launched in 1897 for the San Francisco trade, carrying
lumber and salmon. She was fast, and could make the
trip in about four days.
But her life was short.
Campbell says he believes it was in November of
1905 when the ship broke into three parts in heavy
seas and little wind.
The Bella was a three-masted schooner, the type
favored on West Coast because of wind patterns.
What's left can be seen at low tide, about two
miles south of the Siuslaw River jetties.
Copyright 2008 The
Associated Press. All rights reserved
Derek Spalding , Daily News
Published: Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Doug Olson may be the first person to run a boat aground
in Nanaimo's boat basin, according to the port authority's
Olson, a long-time Nanaimo fisherman, steered his boat,
Miss T.J., toward the docks near Cameron Island on Sunday
evening, but he miscalculated the tide and drove his boat on
to the ocean floor. The boat was on its side two hours later
when the water levels lowered even further.
The tilting vessel attracted spectators by 10 p.m., as it
rested on a 45-degree angle. A concerned Olson knew his ship
could go low enough to take on water, but he remained
hopeful water levels would return, allowing his ship to
"Anything can happen," he said from the docks on Monday
afternoon. "It could go right over, but it's not likely."
The ship sat upright just after midnight as the tide
Olson moored the Miss T.J. and found she had sustained no
damage, but her captain may wait another night or two before
he and his crew set out for another fishing trip. No one was
injured in the mishap.
Throughout his career, Olson has run aground before, but
never in the boat basin. "I don't know if I'm the first, but
I've never heard of it happening in here before," he said.
Stormy weather and low tides have caused other boaters to
run aground in Nanaimo waters, but harbour master Andrew
Pitcher has never seen anyone do it in the basin.
|Salt tide afflicts
As the fourth major salt tide invades Shanghai's
water regions, adding more pain to the city's ills
from the most severe snowstorm in years, Shanghai
authorities insist that they can handle the
problem without cutting off water supplies.
The mouth of the Yangtze River tends to be hit
by salt tides in winter or early spring, causing
chloride levels to rise. The Shanghai water
authority said yesterday the salt tide that hit
last Friday would last two more days, according to
To ensure a steady supply of drinking water,
200,000 tons of fresh water will be transferred
from the Baosteel reservoir near the Yangtze
estuary, said Ouyang Tiaojun, a spokesman for the
A 24-hour monitoring system has also been set
up for the upper reaches of the Yangtze. No water
use restrictions are in place at the moment as the
situation is manageable, Ouyang said.
However, The 21st Century Business Herald
reported yesterday that several districts in
Shanghai had been widely cut off from water
supplies for several days already, since January
The newspaper said that those residents living
on upper levels of high rises would have special
trouble getting adequate water.
"The water level is as low as it usually is in
winter. After the salt tide hit here on January
25, the reservoir at the mouth of the Yangtze
River couldn’t get adequate water resources. Now
the reservoir is using stored water. But the fact
is: the less the amount of water, the lower the
hydraulic pressure. So some residents living in
the upper levels of high rises building may not be
able to get water," The Herald reported,
citing an operator employed by the north Shanghai
water supply hotline.
This report was totally refuted today by the
water bureau; "The water supply has never been
stopped. Everything is going well. No such
malfunction has occurred due to the salt tide."
The bureau added that to ensure adequate water
supplies, they had in place an effective emergency
plan, which was launched when the first tide
Shanghai is a frequent victim of salt tide due
to the city's position. Back in 1978, the tide not
only invaded the mouth of the Yangtze River, but
also entered the Huangpu River, trapping
Shanghai's Chongming Island for nearly 100 days.
When the salt tide came on October 24, 2006, the
Pudong New Area had to cut off one fourth of its
Salt tide is a disastrous phenomenon in which
the lower course of a river, with its lower
altitude with respect to sea level, becomes salty
when the discharge of the river is low during dry
In recent years, the salt tide threat for
Shanghai has become bigger and bigger. "Because
other reservoirs along the Yangtze River are
absorbing river waters, the water volume here has
hugely declined. Moreover, the time gap between
salt tides has also shortened," an anonymous
official told The Herald yesterday,
adding that the snowstorm also has been
responsible for part of the disaster because it
caused pipes to freeze, and some transmission
pipes burst, but the situation currently remains
As for the blizzard, Shanghai's water
authorities have already issued an urgent notice
twice on January 28 and January 29, stressing the
significance of keeping the water supply safe and
Any security incident, if it happens, must be
reported to the authorities as soon as possible –
in no more than ninety minutes, said the notice.
The repair teams for all drinking water companies
in Shanghai are standing by on 24 hour alert, and
every emergency will be effectively tackled
according to pre-plans, the Shanghai TV reported.
When current disasters are out of the way, a
new initiative will start. Shanghai's third
reservoir will be built on Chongming Island – the
third largest island in China and the largest
alluvial island in the world. The project
is expected to be completed by 2010. It is
expected to somehow ease the salt tide threat for
Shanghai in the future.
(China.org.cn by Zhang Rui, February 1, 2008)
HIGH WATER IS ON THIS END OF THE EARTH
Monster waves pound SE Queensland coast
February 20, 2008 - 12:15PM
Strong winds, big waves and high tides have pounded south-east
Queensland's coastline, closing nearly all beaches.
surfers competing later this week are happy about the conditions.
A low pressure system off the Queensland coast is whipping up
heavy swells, while high tides are expected to add to the damage
to beaches already eroded by wild storms earlier this year.
Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) Gold Coast spokesman Stuart
Hogben said only Greenmount Beach, at the southern end of the Gold
Coast, was open to swimmers.
The situation would be reassessed early Wednesday afternoon, Mr
Gold Coast beaches have been pounded by mountainous surf over
the past few weeks, causing serious erosion and creating sand
cliffs, he said.
"If this (weather) continues over the next couple of days,
there will probably be a bit more beach erosion," Mr Hogben said.
"But obviously with the high tide against some of the sand
cliffs, it is a bit dangerous so we've closed the beaches and we
are asking people to steer clear of the water this morning."
But the weather is not all bad news.
The Quiksilver Pro and Roxy Pro surfing competitions are due to
get underway on Friday and organisers hope the big swells stick
"You've got the Quiksilver Pro and Roxy Pro kicking off down at
Rainbow (Beach) and Snapper (rocks)," Mr Hogben said.
"So you've got your world's best surfers in town at the moment
and they would be relishing these conditions and hoping they stick
around a lot longer than everyone else wants them to."
On the Sunshine Coast, SLSQ spokesman Byron Mills said five
metre swells at sea were becoming waves of around two metres on
The heavy swell would mean Wednesday's high tide would be over
the two metre king tide level, he said.
A handful of surfers took to the water at Alexandra Headland
and Mooloolaba, where waves were breaking across the river mouth,
making conditions hazardous for boaties. Mr Mills said.
Most of the beaches were closed to swimmers, he said.
Flood damage bill nudges $130m
February 19, 2008
PRIME Minister Kevin
Rudd has deplored the devastating central Queensland
floods as a "kick in the guts" for the people of
Mackay, as the damage bill today soared to almost
The Insurance Council of Australia said about
9500 claims worth $128m had been lodged since
Friday's deluge, which dumped a record 624mm of rain
in 10 hours.
As the grim statistics were released, authorities
warned the same system that has tormented Mackay
would move south over the next few days, whipping up
90km/h winds and causing beach erosion.
The massive clean-up accelerated in Mackay today,
where around 2000 homes and 100 businesses have
suffered structural damage.
Insurance Council of Australia chief executive
Kerrie Kelly urged residents to lodge their claims
as soon as possible.
"The general insurance industry understands that
people will want to have their damaged property
fixed quickly and will be working to meet customers
expectations that repairs will be undertaken as soon
as is possible," she said.
Mr Rudd told Parliament today Mackay residents
were going to need a lot of help in coming weeks to
get back on their feet.
"This has been a kick in the guts for the people
of Mackay, it's a huge flood ... and with very
little warning," the Prime Minister said.
"There will be much work to do over the coming
weeks to help these communities fully recover."
Mr Rudd has pledged financial assistance for
Mackay residents, with families able to receive a
one-off payment of $1000 for each adult and $400 for
The Federal Government's drought bus – a mobile
Centrelink office with specialist staff – is due to
arrive in Mackay on Thursday.
Opposition Leader Brendan Nelson said images of
families tossing their damaged belongings into piles
on their front lawns were "something that would move
The storm front is expected to move southeast,
prompting the State Emergency Service (SES) to warn
residents to prepare for winds up to 90km/h and
SES executive director Frank Pagano said
gale-force winds could be expected between Fraser
Island and the Gold Coast.
Campers on the popular World Heritage-listed
island are being urged to leave or prepare
themselves for bad weather.
"The forecast is for gale-force winds, large
waves, as well as the possibility of some minor
inundation of low-lying coastal areas due to the
swell and high tides on Wednesday and Thursday," Mr
"Anyone planning to go boating should reconsider
their plans and stay clear of beaches as large
swells are expected."
Rainfall is expected to remain close to the
southern coast, indicating Brisbane's slowly
improving dam levels are unlikely to get a boost
from major inflows.
The SES said flash-flooding also was possible in
Cairns and the Tablelands in the state's far north
Rail services are still affected by the floods.
Queensland Rail said its tilt train service from
Brisbane to Cairns would only travel to Mackay
tomorrow, with on-going passengers to be taken by
Wild weather expected to hit SE Qld
The weather bureau says the monsoonal
low that has ravaged Queensland's north coast, will
generate high winds and big seas in the south-east later
The weather system has dumped hundreds of millimetres
of rainfall across central and north Queensland over the
past week, cutting roads and flooding homes.
Forecaster Geoff Callaghan says the weather system
dumped about 150 millimetres around Cairns overnight,
but falls should ease as it moves down the coast.
He says winds of up to 90 kilometres an hour and
five-metre waves are due to hit areas from Fraser
Island, down to the New South Wales border by tomorrow
"[It is a] very intense system that looks like
developing and the tides are fairly big too - they're
almost up to king tide level," he said.
"Large tides with big waves make conditions
dangerous, plus [there is] the big erosion effect too.
There's a fair bit of erosion already, so there could be
some severe erosion."
Rangers are warning campers on Fraser Island and
nearby areas to expect damaging winds and dangerous surf
conditions over the next couple of days.
The Environmental Protection Agency closed camping
areas on the island and the Sunshine and Cooloola Coasts
The EPA says it may have to close camping grounds
again this week if the bad weather eventuates.
Western Australia braces for Cyclone Nicholas
Tuesday, 19 February, 2008
150km/h winds rock Exmouth
February 19, 2008 02:00pm
DESTRUCTIVE 150km/h winds have lashed the WA town of
Exmouth as tropical cyclone Nicholas continued its
track along the Pilbara coastline.
But emergency authorities reported little damage to
the tourist town.
Roads into Exmouth and the tourist centre of Coral Bay
were closed as the effects of cyclone Nicholas were
Residents were put on red alert as the category two
cyclone approached Exmouth, authorities said.
A red alert means there is a significant risk of
destructive winds in the area soon.
"While communities are on red alert, people should
expect the wind to be extremely powerful and noisy,
and there may be some structural movement in
buildings,'' the Fire and Emergency Services Authority
said in a statement.
Earlier today Cyclone Nicholas, a category two
cyclone, was moving in a south-westerly direction at
The cyclone was this morning 140km west of Exmouth.
Bureau of Meteorology cyclone forecaster Brad Santos
said Nicholas would pass west of Exmouth if it stayed
on track, but the Pilbara town would continue to
experience destructive winds.
"They are experiencing heavy rain and destructive
winds of up to 150km/h and this will continue for the
moment,'' Mr Santos said.
Maximum winds at the centre of the cyclone are
Nicholas was likely to move to the south and weaken,
Mr Santos said.
Tides between Onslow and Exmouth were likely to rise
above the normal high tide mark, with very rough seas
and possible flooding of low-lying areas.
Fire and Emergency Services Authority spokesman Joe
Taylor said there had been no calls for assistance,
although Exmouth was lashed by strong winds overnight.
"There's not much damage at this stage,'' Mr Taylor
Most people were staying inside their homes as heavy
rain fell on the town, he said.
"It's pretty bleak outside. Most people are staying in
their homes, and if a red alert is put in place then
residents will not be allowed to leave their homes,''
A cyclone watch is current for coastal areas from Cape
Cuvier to Overlander roadhouse, including the town of
Campers on the coast between Coral Bay and Exmouth
were warned to move on yesterday, ahead of the
DREAM OF THE GREAT
EARTHCHANGES - MAIN INDEX