A SLOW-MOVING tropical low dumped hundreds of millimetres of rain on areas south of Darwin over the weekend, temporarily closing the Stuart Highway and damaging the Adelaide-Darwin railway.

Emergency flood warnings were issued yesterday for the remote community of Kalkarinji, 760 kilometres south of the NT capital as levels continued to rise in the Upper Victoria River.

The Stuart Highway was briefly re-opened at 1600 on Sunday afternoon to allow heavy freight vehicles through but was promptly closed again three hours later, for 600 kilometres south of Daly Waters.

It was still closed this morning with heavy rain preventing repairs to damage near the Carpentaria Highway intersection.

Meanwhile, rail operator Aurizon reported the Adelaide-Darwin line was closed between Katherine and Tennant Creek, due to damage caused by localised flooding in the Carpentaria and Barkly regions.

Aurizon told the ABC initial inspections indicated damage to several areas of track with the worst approximately 500 metres long; Aurizon crews would undertake a detailed assessment as soon as they can safely access the track section.

The company said it would operate a rail shuttle between Adelaide and its Alice Springs terminal, to allow the transfer of freight onto trucks to be delivered north as soon as the Stuart Highway is reopened. 

This morning some Darwin supermarket shelves were reported bare, with rationing of goods underway.