Australia Weather News

Danika Cole and daughter Lacey Cole have been stuck at home for three days with no power, after a car was squashed by a tree and bike was stolen. - ABC

Almost half the Darwin residents who lost power during Tropical Cyclone Marcus have been reconnected, but as clean-up efforts continue, the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has warned the Top End could see another cyclone this week.

BOM forecaster Graham King said the monsoon trough was expected to redevelop over the Arafura Sea in the coming days.

"We're pretty confident the conditions will let a cyclone form," Mr King said.

"After that, most likely the impact area will be the north-east coast, Arnhem Land, but we certainly can't preclude other parts of the Top End experiencing some form of impact."

Mr King said the developing system could move to the south-east, but it was unknown when that would occur or how far west the cyclone could form.

Cyclone Marcus passed over the northern Kimberley region on Sunday as a category two system, and headed out to sea off the north-west WA coast.

It hit Darwin as a category two system on Saturday morning, bringing down power lines and hundreds of trees.

'If you can stay off the roads, please do': Gunner

Chief Minister Michael Gunner said he was pleased with the way Top Enders handled the biggest storm to hit them in 30 years.

"By and large the resilience shown was exceptional … the fact we haven't had a reported injury yet just seems incredible to me," he said.

"Only 130 people sought shelter … which shows that most people were actually comfortable and confident with the cyclone plan they had and the place they were sheltering in."

"The majority of damage has been tree-related, not structural, which is also positive. So, lots of good out of this, but there's always things we can improve on."

He said his government would be looking at updating its cyclone policy regarding the procedure of when and which businesses should close.

"The stores that stayed open late or the stores that opened early: there is a degree of importance to keeping the supply chain available [for] people who need to go buy the water and the bread, but obviously the people working in these stores need their own welfare checked on, too."

He said he hoped the public service would go back to full staffing on Tuesday.

Boil alert lifted, but some schools to remain closed

Darwin region tap water is now safe to drink, after the results of a contamination test came back all clear on Monday morning.

Power and Water Corporation has restored power to 14,054 residents since the cyclone, but 15,530 remain in the dark.

Batchelor and Adelaide River are also affected by the power outages, and it could take until at least Wednesday to fully reconnect the region.

A number of schools in the Darwin, Palmerston and Rural area will re-open on Tuesday, alongside Charles Darwin University campuses in Casuarina, Waterfront and Palmerston.

However, due to continued power disruptions and public safety concerns, more than 15 schools will remain closed.

Telstra area NT general manager Nic Danks said services have been restored to most mobile base stations affected by Cyclone Marcus, although Darwin and Palmerston region users may experience minor congestion.

There is a disruption to about 2,500 fixed line and ADSL services across the rural area just outside of Darwin.

Full bus services will resume Tuesday. However, there may be minor deviations to some routes, including Phillip Street, Gothenburg Crescent and Thornbill Road, because of debris on the road network.

Insurance office expects more than a thousand claims

Territory Insurance Office (TIO) chief executive Daryl Madden said it had received 200 claims on Sunday night, but expected to receive more than 1,000 in coming days.

Assessors were coming from interstate to help process the claims, which were mostly tree-related.

He said the normal home policy would cover cyclone damage, including food spoilage.

While most claims to date have been minor, TIO has been required to find accommodation for families whose homes were badly damaged - many of whom who have since booked out hotel rooms.

Marg Rudwick, from the Darwin suburb of Moil, lost power after a tree planted by the council fell onto her roof.

She said she had not been able to get through to the council or her insurer to find out whether she could get assistance to have the tree removed and her roof repaired.

"Because I've got no power, I've got limited phone access," she said.

"I've emailed the council but haven't had a reply and haven't been able to get onto the insurance company."

The NT Government said it was looking at replacing the shallow-rooted African mahogany trees, which has caused much of the cyclone damage, with native species.

Protect against deadly disease

Top End residents were being urged to protect themselves from the deadly soil-borne disease melioidosis as trees remain uprooted and earth displaced after Cyclone Marcus.

The bacteria lives below the soil's surface during the dry season and can become airborne after heavy fain.

The Centre for Disease Control said three people had already died from the disease this wet season.

The CDC said it was particularly important to protect against melioidosis, as many people took to their gardens during the cyclone clean-up.

Advice from the Department of the Chief Minister says after encountering muddy situations, shower or wash as soon as possible so not to leave mud on the skin for a long time.

When using high-pressure hoses, residents were reminded to wear a facemask, and to wash all cuts thoroughly in water and cover with a bandage as soon as possible.

If the wound is not healing or it becomes infected, seek medical advice; the most common symptoms include pneumonia, with a cough, fever and shortness of breath.

Clean-up continues

Waste management facilities were struggling to cope with the volume of trees and branches left at their sites.

Green waste that has been placed on verges during the clean-up will be collected by council when other emergency priorities have been dealt with.

While it requested people only drive today if "absolutely necessary", it would be appreciated if residents took their green waste to Shoal Bay Waste Management Facility once roads were safe, to allow crews to deal with other priority areas.

"The lack of electricity has had an impact on traffic lights, we only have about half of them working across the region," regional controller Warren Jackson said.

On Monday 300 soldiers and 45 US Marines were called out to help Darwin residents clean up.