Ex-Tropical Cyclone Ellie flattens dozens of tents, displacing more than 30 homeless residents in Peppimenarti

Dozens of people forced to live in tents in a Northern Territory remote community for the last three years have been displaced due to the damage caused by ex-Tropical Cyclone Ellie.

The system passed over the community of Peppimenarti late on Thursday night, flattening tents where more than 30 people had been living since 2020 when about eight homes were destroyed in ongoing unrest

Traditional owner Regina Pilawuk Wilson said the system brought strong winds travelling over 110kph and heavy rain. 

“When we woke up this morning, we’ve [sic] seen all the tents were down, everything was damaged,” she said.

“It was really scary for the kids [they were] screaming when they saw the strong winds.”

Ms Wilson said that over the course of the night, a tent in her backyard that had been housing family members was damaged by a deluge of rain.

Her small three bedroom home, which was already housing 16 people, is now accommodating 20.

A woman looks at the camera in front of a green wall.
Regina Wilson says about eight homes were destroyed three years ago. (Supplied: Ray Whear)

Ms Wilson said the wet season weather conditions — which usually see torrential downpours for months of the year, and the community cut off by floodwaters — already made for grim living situations, but the cyclone had made things much worse.

“It’s overcrowded and I’m struggling to keep my family safe in my house,” she said.

“Twenty people are in my house with one toilet, one shower.”

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