A wet start to the year for some

A wet start to the year for some

News
Southern Cross was hit by damaging storms in the wake of ex-Tropical Cyclone Damien a fortnight ago which knocked over trees and fences. Ron Burro sent in this photograph after about 100mm was recorded on his property.

Southern Cross was hit by damaging storms in the wake of ex-Tropical Cyclone Damien a fortnight ago which knocked over trees and fences. Ron Burro sent in this photograph after about 100mm was recorded on his property.

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Areas from Wongan Hills through to Southern Cross were the hardest hit.

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THUNDERSTORMS have delivered a massive amount of rain to the Central Wheatbelt region in the past week, with some farmers reporting more rain in a few days than they received last year.

Topping the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) South West Land Division Forecast report for the seven days to Monday morning was Amery Acres, which received 111mm, mostly in a few days.

The areas from Wongan Hills through to Southern Cross were the hardest hit, with flooding recorded in many areas.

Dams have been filled and river systems are flowing for the first time in a while after dry conditions were experienced across the region for almost two years.

While Koorda only measured 67mm in the rain gauge last week, a little further east at Gabbin, 104mm was recorded.

Some people took to social media reporting rainfalls in their regions.

Adam Storer, who farms 20km northeast of Koorda, said he had received 130mm for February which was "unbelievable".

"About 115mm fell between Saturday and Wednesday (last week)," Mr Storer said.

BoM reported Westonia (DPIRD) received 90mm.

The Southern Cross Airfield recorded 74mm - which was less than some farmers in the area.

Southern Cross farmer Ron Burro said "in a few days" last week he received about 100mm leaving the area "flooded".

"It's provided excellent moisture in the ground and filled the dams," Mr Burro said.

"There's flooding everywhere on our farm."

Adam Storer, who took this photograph, farms 20km northeast of Koorda, and said he had received 130mm of rain for February which was "unbelievable". "About 115mm fell between Saturday and Wednesday," Mr Storer said.

Adam Storer, who took this photograph, farms 20km northeast of Koorda, and said he had received 130mm of rain for February which was "unbelievable". "About 115mm fell between Saturday and Wednesday," Mr Storer said.

Mr Burro said further south the rain was much less.

He said the Southern Cross area had received some "earlier storms" associated with ex-Tropical Cyclone Damien which brought down trees and damaged fences.

"We've been fixing fences all week," he said.

"It's always the same - it's dry for a while, then it rains.

"We take the good with the bad."

Mr Burro said while the farm was flooded, it would recede in a few days and the water would provide good moisture for the soil which had been dry for so long.

BoM reported that Happy Valley received 86mm, which was followed by Ejanding (DPIRD) at 80mm.

Trayning and Wyalkatchem both reported 70mm with roads and paddocks in the district flooded.

At Kununoppin, Freda Tarr posted on Facebook that 61mm had fallen for the week to Friday, with 71mm year to date.

Tammin farmer Tony York said the property experienced a good 30mm-40mm in four days last week.

Leanne Falconer, Wongan Hills, said they had "received about 37mm over seven days".

"Nowhere near the insane rainfall some have had that have been unfortunately so damaging," she said.

Pastoralists and Graziers Association WA president Tony Seabrook said a mere 8mm on his farm at York last week was "absolutely marvelous".

 Mogumber farmer Kay Reid reported a hail storm had hit the property last week. The hail stones were almost the size of golf balls. Photo Kay Reid.

Mogumber farmer Kay Reid reported a hail storm had hit the property last week. The hail stones were almost the size of golf balls. Photo Kay Reid.

It was a lot less than BoM reported at the York East (DPIRD) gauge at 36mm.

"It'll do a little ground wetting which is good," Mr Seabrook said.

He said there was a "great sense of relief" among farmers in the east and northern wheatbelt regions "that it can rain".

"Being flooded is no major issue - it goes away," he said.

"With a bit of luck there's water in the dams."

Water deficient areas in the Great Southern have had a slight reprieve from the dry conditions last week after "slow and steady rain" fell across Lake Grace and Kent shires.

The Lake King area recorded the highest rainfall data for last week for the region with 51mm, while a little further south the Mount Madden East (DPIRD) site recorded 42mm.

Lake Grace and Newdegate recorded 21mm-24mm which helped fill some dams to give a bit of confidence to sheep producers who had been carting water.

Lake Grace shire councillor Ross Chappell said he received about 25mm last week on his farm, on the back of a thunderstorm that passed over the area.

He said it was a "lighter rain" which "filled 12 dams" but it didn't do much for his rainwater storage tanks off his sheds.

"We'll still be carting water to three mobs (400 head each) of sheep, which are running on the stubbles " Mr Chappell said.

"The ground has been so dry that unless we get some follow up rains it won't make much of a difference."

Mr Chappell said all his paddocks were bare and the wind had been blowing away the topsoil.

"It's helpful when the dams are full it gives you confidence," he said.

"We have water on the farm now, which came as a surprise."

Mr Chappell said last year they had cleaned out six dams and this year they had cleaned out a further eight dams - some of which he had made larger, which he said "definitely paid off".

His area was part of the first water deficiency declared in the Shire of Lake Grace and he had been carting water from a standpipe 10km away, which had been used by at least six other farmers in the area.

WAFarmers livestock council president David Slade, Mt Barker, said the family had cleaned out 42 dams this year so they were prepared to catch as much as possible when the rain finally did come.

"It is the second driest year on record here," Mr Slade said.

He said in recent days they had experienced a few thunderstorms but after "not much rain yet" they were "waiting to see".

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