Cyclone Seroja: Geraldton residents play and prepare before town reached red alert.
Boarded-up windows, queues snaking around supermarkets and picnics and the beach; Geraldton locals had mixed responses this morning to blue and yellow alerts being declared for Tropical Cyclone Seroja.
Better safe than sorry was the mentality for some, who took to taping up their windows, securing outdoor furniture and hitting the shops early to stock up on food, while some appeared to make no effort to tidy up their yards of potential projectiles.
Bluff Point resident of the beachfront Kempton Street Ron said when his family getaway on the Albrolhos Islands was cut short he returned home and made his preparations, before helping family, neighbours and owners of vacant properties.
He said he was afraid many people were being complacent and hoped they would take the situation more seriously.
A handful of other Kempton Street residents had taped their windows and secured their yards, with the Luff family boarding up their windows, but were among the minority as others seemed to carry about their Sunday business as usual with their homes untouched.
Big 4 Sunset Beach Holiday Park general manager Mike Triplett said the park had been cleared of most tenants, with residents in the chalets furthest from the beach front hunkering down while anyone who had local family or friends to stay with moved out.
On the foreshore, many locals enjoyed bike riding, walking their dogs, swimming and grabbed a morning coffee before heading home to batten down the hatches.
One family had planned to camp and stargaze at Mingenew this weekend but had to settle for a McDonald’s breakfast by the beach.
Couple Kinga Lesiak and Mick Fitton stopped for refreshments after walking their dogs and said they were not overly worried about the cyclone, they just wanted to it be over.
They had tied down some items in their backyard and stocked up on grocery essentials.
Some ducked into supermarkets to get last-minute essentials while others hit bottle shops to ensure they had enough booze to last them through the cyclone.
A shuttle bus has been available to take people from Geraldton who were not confident of their home’s ability to withstand the cyclone to the Irwin Rec Centre in Port Denison, but only one person had arrived at the evacuation centre as of 12.30pm.
In Kalbarri, Shire of Northampton deputy president Shane n Kalbarri and said the sun was shining earlier this morning but it was “getting windy” quickly.
Tourists had already cleared out of caravan parks and residents were busy securing their homes.
Mr Krakouer said he had never experienced a weather event of this magnitude in Kalbarri before.
“We have never had something like this while I have been here,” he said.
“In strong winds we have lost roofs off houses, lost patios but nothing like this.
“People are nervy because they don’t know what is going to happen.
“No one knows what is going to happen, no one can say what is going to happen.”
An evacuation centre has been opened at the DFES SES building at 11 Magee Crescent in Kalbarri.
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