Western Australia’s wet season is in full swing with prolonged rainfall prompting flood warnings and turning towns in the state’s north into isolated islands.
Some townships have gone several weeks being cut-off from the rest of the country and while the rain has eased on Wednesday further downpours are expected to drench the Kimberley region.
Hundreds of millimetres of rain has soaked the area in the last week which was already being smashed by an intense wet season – rendering the main access road the Great Northern Highway inaccessible.
Nearly 2,000km of roads in Western Australia are inaccessible after being cut-off by floodwaters.
Supplies are being flown in by helicopter with freight trucks unable to deliver supplies to towns isolated by the floodwaters.
CLOSED ROADS IN WA
More than 900km of main roads and 1,000 km of local roads closed after flooding in WA’s Kimberley including:
The Great Northern Highway from the Derby Highway to Fitzroy Crossing and from Fitzroy Crossing to Halls Creek and the
Gibb River Road from Mt Barnett to Pentecost River and from the Meda Station turn off to Mt Barnett.
River levels peaked at 11.7 metres on Monday but should be below 9.5 metres by Thursday.
‘Over the next few days rainfall is expected to return to the usual seasonal pattern with showers and isolated thunderstorms,’ WA authorities said.
‘Isolated daily rainfall totals of up to 40 mm are possible.
‘River rises and areas of flooding have adversely affected road conditions. Some roads may be impassable and some communities may be isolated.’
Locals have been urged to watch for changes in water levels and be ready to evacuate if necessary.
‘We’ve all turned into little islands between Fitzroy Crossing town, Darlgunaya where I am, Brooking, Bungardi, we’re all like little islands now,’ Darlgunaya resident Natalie Davey told the ABC.
‘The last time [the river height] has come up to here, I think it was 2012’.
Helicopters have been flying in emergency supplies to the region with trucks unable to cross waters.
More than 900km of main roads and 1,000km of local roads have been closed after being submerged in floodwaters.
There has been torrential rain in the last week adding to an already intense wet season
‘We got a top-up of supplies last week, which was really good, a few people [in the community] have boats so have been able to go in [to Fitzroy Crossing] and get some things,’ Ms Davey said.
Remote communities of Balgo, Bililuna, and Mulan, with large indigenous populations have gone for more than two months being cut-off fromt he rest of the country by floodwaters.
The town’s main delivery point for supplies, Halls Creek, has not had a freight truck since Christmas.
Authorities said there was more rain expected in the the next month for the Kimberley region.