Robinson River evacuee Johnny Shadforth with his grandsons Walter Allum, 3, and Mauhrys Allum, 4, at the Marrara evacuation centre on Sunday.
Robinson River evacuee Johnny Shadforth with his grandsons Walter Allum, 3, and Mauhrys Allum, 4, at the Marrara evacuation centre on Sunday.

Men who ran from cops during cyclone miraculously survive

SEVERAL people who remained in the path of Tropical Cyclone Trevor against advice on Saturday all miraculously survived the category 4 storm, authorities say.

But regional controller Travis Wurst said in the case of two people who hunkered down in a crabber's camp near Borroloola he had "no idea how".

"Those (two) persons who chose not to be evacuated actually ran from police when we attempted to engage with them about getting them out," he said.

"All the dwellings either side of them had blown away and their roof had blown off at the same time. (In) the last communications we heard that they thought they weren't going to make it and that was at 1 o'clock (Saturday) and then late (Saturday) night we received word that they had survived."

Commander Wurst said other people who elected to remain on Vanderlin Island and in Borroloola against advice were also okay.

Meanwhile, the damage at Robinson River is yet to be assessed and evacuees at the Marrara shelter are preparing to remain in Darwin for up to another week.

Johnny Shadforth told the NT News his family was "hoping and praying" their houses and pets had survived.

"We only got our new house about 18 months ago and we just moved in and we were ready to refurbish the rest of the community and (now) it looks like we'll be waiting a little bit longer," he said.

"They're going to concentrate on Borroloola because of the population and it'll be a while for us to find out about Robinson River.

"We've still got to find out through those guys when they get out there because no one's at home at the moment."

Despite the lack of information, Mr Shadforth said the spirits of residents still at the Marrara shelter were high.

"The mood's good and that, like a normal holiday thing but an emergency one, you know, you've got to leave half your gear behind and come with what you can pack," he said.

Chief Minster Michael Gunner thanked the evacuees for their patience and co-operation, promising "we are doing everything we can to get you home as soon as possible".

"This does take a personal toll, your homes, your lives, the places you know and care about, are threatened," he said.

"You are in our care, you have co-operated, we thank you all and we know it was extremely stressful for you in those evacuation centres."



Mr Gunner also praised the "incredible and extraordinary effort" of emergency services in helping ensure no lives were lost.

"I thank emergency services personnel, police, defence - this has been a series of long shifts and tough conditions," he said.

"I can think of no recent event, certainly not for decades, that has involved so many people across such a large part of the Territory."

Authorities were aiming to have a total of 250 people repatriated to their home communities by the end of Sunday.