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    Rusty "Rains Out" Over West of Australia

    February 28, 2013; 10:05 AM ET

    Remnant low pressure of Tropical Cyclone Rusty, heading southward over the state of Western Australia, following Wednesday's landfall on the Pilbara Coast. Visible satellite imagery taken Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. (Image credit: Bureau of Meteorology)

    Rusty, the former tropical cyclone, was fading fast as it spread tropical rain southward over Western Australian.

    In its wake, the storm left some tree and structural damage, as well as swollen rivers.

    The worst of the storm's severe winds and rain had spared not only the vital shipping hub of Port Hedland, but also apparently missed the world-class iron-mining pits of the Pilbara ranges.

    To the east, Pardoo Station, a huge cattle spread near the site of landfall, was "flogged" by the storm's severe winds and torrential rain, the Australian website said on Thursday. However, it caused mostly "minor roof damage," the ABC news website indicated.

    Some livestock were lost, mostly due to hypothermia, the Australian said. The animals were exposed to slashing wind and rain amid temperatures in the mid-70s, weather observations from the area showed.

    Weather data taken at the Pardoo Station showed rainfall of at least 19 inches from Sunday to Wednesday. It was unclear whether data accuracy were compromised by the cyclone's severe winds.

    The town of Port Hedland, although whipped by prolonged gales and slashing rain, rode out the storm with little more than fallen trees and branches, according to the Australian.

    Loading activity at the port was allowed to resume on Thursday, following 86.5 hours of being shut down, the Australian said.

    Loading of iron ore also began once again following closure at the ports of Dampier and Cape Lambert, still farther west of Rusty's landfall.

    Taken together, the three Pilbara Coast ports handle about 500 million metric tons of iron ore each year.

    Inland, the gold mining camp at Telfer was inundated with nearly a foot of rain within three days ended Thursday, weather observations showed. The fall of rain was more than 83% of the mean yearly rainfall at Telfer.

    There were no immediate reports of adverse impact at the mines, which are among the world's top gold producers.

    By Thursday, heaviest rains were south of the Pilbara, aiming for the Western Goldfields, which are centered in and about Kalgoorlie in a vast region of desert and near desert.

    A Severe Weather Warning for damaging winds and heavy rainfall was posted by the Bureau of Meteorology for parts of the Western Goldfields, as well as the forecast districts of Gascoyne, South Interior and Central Wheat Belt.

    The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com


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