Dozens rescued in the Gascoyne as tropical low brings floods

Liam Beatty & Lisa FavazzoMidwest Times
VideoFootage of flooding near Minilya Roadhouse in the Gascoyne. Video courtesy of Coral Coast Helicopter Services Pty Ltd

Roads across the Gascoyne are closed as a tropical low system system brings hazardous weather and flooding to large parts of the region.

A Department of Fire and Emergency Services spokesperson said local State Emergency Service volunteers had responded to 38 flood-related requests for assistance today.

Coral Coast Helicopter Services administration officer Lyndal Evans said the company was working with the Carnarvon SES unit to rescue people stranded due to the flooding.

“We’re waiting for the rain front to pass so we can do another trip,” she said at 4pm, adding the service was hoping to rescue 20 stranded government workers.

Rainfall totals of 100mm to 150mm have been dumped across the region today leading to a minor flooding alert being issued for the Gascoyne River.

The spokesperson said the system was slowly moving down the coastline and could result in “significant accumulated rainfall totals over multiple days”.

“The low may also cause damaging winds, averaging 50 to 60 km/h with peak gusts to 90 km/h, over coastal areas between Carnarvon and Geraldton,” they said.

Affected locations include Carnarvon, Denham, Gascoyne Junction, Minilya Roadhouse, Overlander Roadhouse and Wooramel Roadhouse.

DFES Mid West Gascoyne region Superintendent Craig Smith said the system was heading down along the coast with significant rainfall currently soaking the Gascoyne.

He said the weather system, once a cyclone risk, was a good reminder for the community to be prepared for extreme weather conditions.

“Hopefully we’ll see a good amount of rain and nothing more than that,” he said. “But the community should be prepared for possible extreme conditions.”

The low is expected to move slowly south-west and offshore around Shark Bay later on Thursday.

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