TROPICAL Cyclone Rusty has been upgraded to a category two and is moving slowly towards Western Australia's Pilbara coast.The large cyclone is expected to bring gales to the coast between Wallal and Whim Creek this morning before extending north to Broome in the afternoon.
Very heavy rainfall is expected in the eastern Pilbara and western Kimberley.
At 5am the cyclone was estimated to be 315km north of Port Hedland and 420km west of Broome.
The Bureau of Meteorology said it was nearly stationary but was expected to intensify as it approached the coast today and tomorrow.
There was a high risk it would cross the coast as a severe tropical cyclone, the BoM said.
A blue alert has been issued for coastal communities from Broome to Whim Creek, including Port Hedland.
People in these areas are urged to organise an emergency kit including first aid supplies, a torch, a portable radio, spare batteries, food and water.
The iron ore export hub of Port Hedland is bracing for the cyclone, with evacuation of the port undertaken yesterday.
It is expected to be officially closed early on Monday when the last vessel clears port limits.
Tomorrow, gales could extend as far west as Mardie and inland towards Marble Bar.
Widespread heavy rainfall is likely to lead to major flooding in the De Grey catchment on Tuesday and Wednesday.