Exmouth prepared for tourism season despite “unwelcome” floods
Exmouth tourism operators say it’s business as usual for them, despite heavy rain causing flooding in much of the town last week.
About 175mm was recorded in the town’s largest downpour since 2014, resulting in road closures and flooded streets.
Shire president Matthew Niikkula said the floodwater drained away quickly, but exposed a “huge amount” of damage to the road infrastructure.
“It was an incredible amount of rain to receive in such a short period of time, and the way Exmouth is situated between the Cape Range and the Gulf, it is always inevitable that we will receive intense flash flooding,” he said.
Cr Niikkula said Shire staff sprang into action, clearing debris from the roads, and were now working on repairs and reconstruction.
“We are still open for business, we are a resilient destination and the clean-up is well under way,” he said.
“Unfortunately, from a Shire perspective this has been an unwanted distraction to core business.”
Mantarays Ningaloo Beach Resort rates manager and executive director’s assistant Mandy Francis-Maier said tourism bookings remained very high over the coming weeks.
“It didn’t really impact our bookings — we’ve still got high occupancy here,” she said.
“A few tourism operators had to close off for a couple of days after the rain but everyone’s back working now.” She said the hotel was expecting a busy tourism season.
“It’s so important people know to book ahead, we love our visitors but it is impossible to find accommodation,” she said.
“Exmouth is certainly going to be very green in the coming weeks.”
Some used the downpour to have some fun, such as On Strike Charters captain Josh Bruynzeel, who took his boat out on the flooded streets of town.
“Last week was the first time I had the chance to launch it,” he said. “But it was more of a spectacle for the kids.”
Mr Bruynzeel said it had taken a long time for the waters to subside where he was, and despite the drainage system being redesigned, he called for a “better” one.
“This is the fourth water event we’ve had — we’ve been stuck and we can’t leave home,” he said.
The Wednesday night downpour was the biggest in six years and, as a result, Exmouth has now recorded its wettest year since 2011 with six months still to go.
About 455mm has fallen to date this year — double the town’s annual average.
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