Kalbarri SES February 2021 report
February saw Kalbarri SES attending several operational deployments aa well as recommencing training for 2021.
Storm Damage at Northampton
On Friday January 29 at 4.30pm we received a call for assistance with storm damage in Northampton.
3 Kalbarri volunteers responded and travelled to Northampton with appropriate storm damage equipment. On arrival we ascertained that a freak wind had lifted a large section of roof off of a house. There was no damage to surrounding properties. We were able to peel the lifted section of roof back into position and secure it before covering the whole section of roof with a large tarpaulin making it weatherproof until permanent repairs could be effected.
We finished the job just on dark and travelled back to Kalbarri to knock off at 9.30pm.
Flooding at Carnarvon:
On Thursday February 4, 4 Kalbarri SES volunteers were deployed to Carnarvon to assist local crews deal with imminent flooding due to a tropical low pressure weather system travelling down the coast. We took a flood boat with us in case any river or floodwater rescues were required.
On arrival on Thursday afternoon we established a control centre, formed response teams and set in place a process for dealing with incoming jobs. Steady rain fell throughout the day and we attended a number of jobs including assisting elderly residents in flood prone areas to move their belongings, pumping excess water from around the community evacuation centre and assisting residents with leaking roofs and water build up.
On Friday we drove 120km north with busses and set up at the washed out part of North West Coastal Highway. The RAC rescue helicopter then made numerous trips north to extract stranded trucks and motorists from the highway before delivering them to us for evacuation by road to Carnarvon. In all 40 people were conveyed and processed for emergency accommodation and assistance.
Saturday saw flood waters rising and threatening Carnarvon. We assisted with constructing a bund wall to hold the waters to the eastern part of the town and also conducted a search of a flooded caravan park to evacuate a stranded resident. Sunday saw us stranded in Carnarvon as the road south was closed due to the flooding.
On Monday we were relieved from Carnarvon after floodwaters began to recede. We travelled back to Kalbarri crossing many flooded sections of highway and observing the unusual sight of the Wooramel River in full flood. Overall we spent 3 days soaking wet but we completed some important tasks in dealing with Nature at its worst. Fortunately we didn’t need to launch the flood boat.
On the evening of Tuesday February 9 Kalbarri SES volunteers attended at the Sky Walk in Kalbarri National Park and completed a rope rescue training session. This training was also used as an opportunity to collect a number of hats and other items that had been dropped over the edge. We continue to work to help keep the local environment clean and litter free.
We recommenced fortnightly training on Tuesday February 16 and this will continue each second Thursday. Fortnightly training nights are always interesting and generally involve scenarios to reflect situations that we are likely to experience in operations. They play an important part in keeping our skills current.