CBH survives cyclone relatively unscathed

CBH survives cyclone relatively unscathed

Grains
 CBH Geraldton zone general manager Duncan Gray surveying damage at the Mingenew site.

CBH Geraldton zone general manager Duncan Gray surveying damage at the Mingenew site.

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CBH's Duncan Gray said he was surprised their sites weren't worse hit

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DESPITE wind gusts of between 120 and 140 kilometres per hour, CBH Group sites in the Geraldton zone held up surprisingly well against ex-Tropical Cyclone Seroja last month.

There was damage to all sites in the zone - particularly in the area surrounding Northampton, Mullewa, Mingenew, Perenjori and Morawa - but it was nothing when compared with the destruction of sheds, houses and machinery of farmers in the Mid West.

In total, CBH lost about 100 tarps across the zone, sustained damage to accommodation at Northampton and Binnu, as well as damage to open bulkheads which were empty of grain and had walls ripped away, plus the usual downed trees and power outages.

In terms of fixed storage, the only site affected was Mingenew where a Q type horizontal storage copped a beating.

CBH Geraldton zone general manager Duncan Gray said after seeing some of the damage sustained on farms to sheds and houses, he was surprised their sites weren't worse hit.

"To only lose 100 tarps I thought was pretty amazing and I don't really understand how one bulkhead was completely gone and the one next to it was hardly touched," Mr Gray said.

"My theory, whether it's correct or not, is that most of the wind damage was after the rain has already gone.

"On the Sunday night when the heavy rain came through, the wind was probably only 60km/h to 80km/h, whereas when the winds hit that 120km/h to 140km/h level, there wasn't a lot of rain."

The loss of 100 tarps across the zone has undoubtedly caused some grain to be lost, but the extent of that will be unknown until that storage is outloaded.

Damage sustained to CBH's Mullewa site as a result of ex-Tropical Cyclone Seroja last month.

Damage sustained to CBH's Mullewa site as a result of ex-Tropical Cyclone Seroja last month.

"We have outloaded some of them already and the damage hasn't been too bad - we might have lost 20t to 30 tonnes out of a 10,000t to 15,000t bulkhead," Mr Gray said.

"There will be other bulkheads that we lose more from, but overall we're going to come out of it fairly well."

The general clean-up on the affected sites has been completed with bulkheads retarped and all of the grain that was blown off stacks onto the road cleared.

CBH is in the process of restabilising the bulkheads that were pulled out of the ground and that is going to take some time.

Despite that, there is nothing that hasn't been fixed which will affect CBH in terms of logistics or movement.

"Other than the fact we've still got one million tonnes of grain in the storage that we're out-loading, we could primarily operate all of the sites as needed now, despite the work that still needs to be done," Mr Gray said.

"We won't know the full cost of the damage until we get out and progress the repairs further, but ours is very insignificant in comparison to farmers' sheds, houses and machinery."

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