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Ingrid's impact - the tropical cyclone that crossed three states

Ingrid's impact - the tropical cyclone that crossed three states

If you lived in Western Australia you could be forgiven for thinking that a tropical cyclone in Queensland was nothing to worry about. But in March 2005, tropical cyclone Ingrid changed all that. It made the record books by crossing three state and territory coastlines as a severe tropical cyclone.

Storm surges, widespread damage on land and at sea

Although tropical cyclone Ingrid rarely caused damage beyond 100 km of its centre, its effects were widespread because of its intensity and movement across northern Australia.

Starting in Queensland, Ingrid crossed Cape York at a remote location, uprooting trees and stripping the foliage and bark from many more. A 2.7 m storm surge hit the coast 60 km south of the Lockhart River township.

As it moved across the coast of the Northern Territory, Ingrid caused significant damage to infrastructure in coastal and island communities. Along the Arnhem Land coast, there was widespread damage to vegetation. Six ships in a local pearling fleet were sunk. At Drysdale Island, there was evidence of a storm surge of several metres. Fortunately, only minor effects were felt in Darwin as the cyclone passed to its north.

Tropical cyclone Ingrid's path across Australia's north.

In Western Australia, the remote resort of Faraway Bay, northeast of Kalumburu, was seriously damaged. Vegetation was stripped, and several buildings destroyed. A storm tide swept boats about 100 metres inland and several metres above the usual high tide mark. Luckily, the resort was closed for the off-season and the caretakers sheltered in a shipping container secured in concrete to withstand cyclones.

A beachfront house on Wigram Island, near Elcho Island, Northern Territory before and after Ingrid in December 2004 (left) and March 2005 (right).

Timely warnings saved lives in Australia

Heavy sea swells outside Australia's warning area capsized a boat near Papua New Guinea. Five people died.

However, timely warnings within Australia allowed communities and emergency services to prepare, and no lives were lost.

Tropical cyclone Ingrid as seen by the Gove radar.

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