CENTRAL Victorian families are keeping a close watch on Cyclone Christine, which is hovering off the West Australian coast .
A red alert was issued Monday morning as the category three cyclone approached coastal areas from Bidyadanga to Onslow, including Port Hedland, Karratha and Onslow, and extending inland to Paraburdoo, Tom Price and Newman.
Many former central Victorians now live and work in mines in the affected area.
Former Elmore man Greg Ferrie, his wife Lauren and their children, Cheyenne, 9, Mikaylah, 6, and Zane, 2, have been indoors at their South Hedland home since 9.30am Monday, waiting for the cyclone to hit.
Their families in Bendigo and Deniliquin are watching events closely, but Mr Ferrie said the outcome was always difficult to predict.
"It could be hours, it could be days,'' he said.
"It's taking ages to get here so seems to be travelling pretty slow - but the forecast is that it will go a fair way inland.''
The family bunkered inside a wardrobe when category four Cyclone Rusty threatened to wreak havoc in February.
Port and South Hedland were expected to take a direct hit from the eye, but the cyclone changed paths at the last minute and made its way to Pardoo.
"We are not sure if this one will hit - we are just waiting to see what's going to happen,'' Mr Ferrie said.
The Bureau of Meteorology has warned destructive winds of up to 200 kilometres per hour are likely as the centre of the cyclone crosses the coast.