Cyclone Seroja: Geraldton residents play and prepare before town reached red alert.

Elise Van Aken & Phoebe PinGeraldton Guardian
Sienna Luff, 15, helps tape up windows at her Bluff Point home.
Camera IconSienna Luff, 15, helps tape up windows at her Bluff Point home. Credit: Kate Campbell/The Geraldton Guardian

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.

Hannah and Emma Simpson get ready with sand bags in Mullewa. \
Camera IconHannah and Emma Simpson get ready with sand bags in Mullewa. \ Credit: Jess Simpson/Facebook

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.

Beachfront residents in Geraldton had a mixed reaction to the regional city going on blue alert for Tropical Cyclone Seroja, with residents of this home not appearing to have secured outdoor belongings.
Camera IconBeachfront residents in Geraldton had a mixed reaction to the regional city going on blue alert for Tropical Cyclone Seroja, with residents of this home not appearing to have secured outdoor belongings. Credit: Elise Van Aken/Geraldton Guardian
Tara Luff with her children Jaxon, 17, and Sienna, 15, has taped and boarded up her windows at her beachside Bluff Point home.
Camera IconTara Luff with her children Jaxon, 17, and Sienna, 15, has taped and boarded up her windows at her beachside Bluff Point home. Credit: Kate Campbell/The Geraldton Guardian

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.

Beachfront residents in Geraldton had a mixed reaction to the regional city going on blue alert for Tropical Cyclone Seroja, with a neighbour of this home doing his best to secure outdoor items on this vacant property.
Camera IconBeachfront residents in Geraldton had a mixed reaction to the regional city going on blue alert for Tropical Cyclone Seroja, with a neighbour of this home doing his best to secure outdoor items on this vacant property. Credit: Elise Van Aken/Geraldton Guardian

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.

There were plenty of people enjoying a coffee and walking their dogs in Geraldton before Tropical Cyclone Seroja.
Camera IconThere were plenty of people enjoying a coffee and walking their dogs in Geraldton before Tropical Cyclone Seroja. Credit: Phoebe Pin/Geraldton Guardian
A long que at IGA supermarket in the Geraldton suburb of Glenfield as the regional city went into a yellow alert for Tropical Cyclone Seroja.
Camera IconA long que at IGA supermarket in the Geraldton suburb of Glenfield as the regional city went into a yellow alert for Tropical Cyclone Seroja. Credit: Geraldton Guardian/Elise Van Aken

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.

Geraldton swimmers were swimming at the foreshore this morning.
Camera IconGeraldton swimmers were swimming at the foreshore this morning. Credit: Phoebe Pin/Geraldton Guardian

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.

Geraldton residents John Tonai-Moore and Emi Fitzgerald pick up sand bags from the DFES SES building before cyclone Seroja arrives.\
Camera IconGeraldton residents John Tonai-Moore and Emi Fitzgerald pick up sand bags from the DFES SES building before cyclone Seroja arrives.\ Credit: Phoebe Pin/Geraldton Guardian

“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.

DFES incident controller Graham Sears has been sent to Geraldton to assist with emergency service coordination during cyclone Seroja.
Camera IconDFES incident controller Graham Sears has been sent to Geraldton to assist with emergency service coordination during cyclone Seroja. Credit: Phoebe Pin/Geraldton Guardian

“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.

Professionals Geraldton have taped up windows ahead of cyclone Seroja.
Camera IconProfessionals Geraldton have taped up windows ahead of cyclone Seroja. Credit: Phoebe Pin/Geraldton Guardian

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