Cyclones continue their rampage

29 Mar, 2006 08:45 PM
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AS tropical cyclone Glenda closed in on WA's North-West on Tuesday the Bureau of Meteorology Tropical Cyclone Centre issued a warning.

As Farm Weekly went to press, communities in the central and western Pilbara were told to be aware that Glenda would likely be near the coast in 48-72 hours' time.

Travellers were encouraged to rethink plans as the category four cyclone was expected to hit the coastal areas of Cape Leveque and Bidyadanga.

A cyclone watch extended along the north-west coast to Exmouth.

Glenda was estimated to be 180km west-north-west of Cape Leveque and 260km north-north-west of Broome and was moving west-south-west at 11km per hour.

The cyclone was expected to move roughly parallel to the coast and continue to intensify, but if the cyclone took a more south-westerly track gales with gusts to 120km per hour might extend south to Bidyadanga.

Gales with gusts to 120km per hour also were possible in coastal parts between Cape Leveque and Beagle Bay.

The Fire and Emergency Safety Authority (FESA) advised station owners to be aware of flooding and be prepared to relocate equipment and livestock.

Travellers need to be aware that road conditions may be adversely affected and travel plans may need to be reconsidered.

Bureau of Meteorology Broome officer Tom Chlebowfki said the pastoral areas outside of Kununurra had been affected by heavy rains and the highway had been cut off for a couple of days.

He was amazed that Wyndham received 252mm of rain on March 25.

The latest cyclone threat to WA comes hot on the heels of cyclone Emma.

Damage caused by Emma is still being determined, as stock and infrastructure losses become more apparent and the State Government declared the Murchison a disaster area.

Record flooding of the Murchison River has caused significant damage to four homesteads built before 1900 that were all waterlogged.

Pastoral and Graziers Association president Sandy McTaggart said stock losses were still being tallied, but it was difficult to get around as roads were still boggy.

Mr McTaggart said the Berringarra, Manfred, Billabalong and Murchison House properties had all suffered extensive damage.

"These are heritage-quality homesteads and some were of mud-bat construction," Mr McTaggart said.

"The owners and managers have reported extensive damage and it appears that Billabalong and Manfred are the worst affected properties."

Mr McTaggart said the Milly Milly, Meeberrie and Yallalong stations had received infrastructure damage to sheds and vehicles.

"More than 20 pastoral properties are currently trying to estimate their losses and we are expecting a heavy call on emergency funding and other aid provisions," he said.

People who have experienced damage as a result of the cyclone are eligible for financial assistance under the WA Natural Disaster Relief Arrangements (WANDRA).

The Agriculture Department in Carnarvon and Meekatharra are compiling a situation report for Agriculture Minister Kim Chance.

WANDRA provides access to personal hardship grants, loan interest subsidies, primary producers assistance, counter-disaster operations, essential public assets restoration and road base saturation damage.

Those seeking further information can direct inquiries as follows:

p Individuals and families who have had their primary residence affected should contact the Department for Community Development on

1800 032 965

p Primary Producers should contact the Agriculture Department on 1800 198 231

p Other inquiries can be directed to FESA by phoning 9323 9815 or emailing wandra@fesa.wa.gov.au

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