More than 27,000 WA homes are without power this morning after gale-force winds battered Perth and South West communities overnight. Cape Leeuwin recorded a wind gust of 113km/h at 10.50pm, while Swanbourne recorded a gust of 107km/h at 9.31pm and Rottnest recorded several gusts of 106km/h around 8pm. Ocean Reef recorded a gust of 104km/h.
Rottnest Island is also being pounded bashed by a six-metre swell today. While the deep low pressure system brought gales and heavy rain to much of the
South West and Perth, the southern half of the state was spared the widespread destruction associated with Sunday’s violent storm.
Mandurah and Rockingham appear to be the worst-hit areas. A large tree has brought power lines down in Park Ridge Drive, Bouvard. The State Emergency Service received more than 118 calls for help as the storm battered Perth, the Midwest, South West, Lower South West, and the Great Southern. Damage was reported from Moora down south to Albany.
State Emergency Service received more than 118 calls for help as the storm battered Perth, the Midwest, South West, Lower South West, and the Great Southern. Damage was reported from Moora down south to Albany. Most of the calls were from the Perth metropolitan area, including Mandurah and Rockingham which appear to be worst hit.
SES spokesman Allen Gale said the majority of the calls for SES assistance were for relatively minor matters. “We are not hearing of any major structural damage throughout the metropolitan area,” he said. “I think we were all worried what it was likely to bring and we certainly are very happy that it hasn’t been as bad as expected, but it’s not to say it won’t happen to us again.”
A house had its roof blown off in Pinjarra, while a tree caused damage to a house at Dwellingup and a verandah was torn off in Meelon, according to the SES. but there are few reports of major structural damage. A woman told ABC radio a large tree crashed through her Bouvard fishing shack narrowly missing her and her young son.
25 SES volunteers from South Australia have been deployed to Perth, and will arrive tomorrow to help the impending clean up. SES volunteers worked through the night to respond to call outs, fix minor roof damage, and remove fallen trees from homes and cars. They were aided by crews sent from Kimberley, Pilbara, and Midwest Gascoyne. A SES spokesperson said they were expecting the number of calls to the helpline to increase this morning from daybreak and would respond on a priority basis.
A Severe Weather Warning remains in place for the far south of the state southwest of a line from Cape Leeuwin to Paynes Find to Forrest. This includes people in, near or between Bridgetown, Southern Cross, York, Albany, Katanning, Narrogin, Esperance, Kalgoorlie and Eucla. The cold front is expected to move eastwards through inland parts and has the potential to cause widespread damage with dangerous gusts in excess of 125km/h. The winds will hit the eastern Eucla by midday and clear the state by the early afternoon. Conditions should gradually ease through the west during the day.
Heavy rain hits Perth, South West the front has brought heavy rainfall to the metropolitan area and South West, with Bickley 40mm, Dwellingup 41mm, Perth Airport 27mm and Perth recording 20mm to 6am. In the South West, Witchcliffe had 47mm to 6am today, Bridgetown, Collie and Walpole 30mm and Albany on the south coast, 27mm.
At 5.30am today Western Power reported that the electricity network had withstood the brunt of last night’s storm, experiencing far fewer power interruptions than on Sunday. About 27,000 properties were without power, nearly 10,000 of those as a result of the weekend’s severe weather front.
Areas affected included the Perth suburbs of Thornlie (1800 without power), Wangara (1800) and Sorrento (1000). More than 1000 properties were without power in the South-West town of Yallingup, 252km south of Perth, while 900 were blacked out in Serpentine and 750 in Rockingham.
Most of last night’s damage occurred in the Margaret River-Augusta area, 267km south of Perth, where more than 6000 customers were impacted after the storm hit about 7pm. Many of those properties had power restored by the early hours of this morning.
Western Power said crews worked throughout the night restoring power to thousands of customers as the storm front moved up from the state’s southwest corner through the metropolitan area and up the coast. Only 30 wires appeared to have been brought down in last night’s storm compared with nearly 800 power lines, streetlight wires and individual customer service lines on Sunday. At the peak of Sunday’s storm, 170,000 customers had lost power.
Following the announcement, homeowners who have been without power for more than 48 hours due to Sunday’s storms will be eligible for a payment of $160. Energy Minister Peter Collier said he recognised the hardship that people suffer as a result of losing power and said the one-off increase to the assistance followed the most widespread damage to the South West Interconnected System ever caused by a single storm.
Yesterday SES warned people living in parts of WA, south of a line from Geraldton to Laverton to Forrest, to take action with the start of the dangerous weather. “This intense storm will be of similar strength to the system that affected the southwest on Sunday,” FESA said. SES advised that people should stay away from windows and ensure pets and animals were in a safe area. Motorists planning travel in or to the South-West region have been told to review unnecessary travel plans.
The highest winds recorded during Sunday’s storm was 146km/h, one of the highest recorded gusts in the South West. But much of the South West was buffeted by destructive gales up to 125km/h.
As the clean-up continued yesterday from Sunday’s storms, Nine News reported that FESA had called in the Defence Department, with 100 naval personnel assisting in the Mandurah and Rockingham areas.