ONCE-IN-A-DECADE BLOW

It was a once-in-a-decade event that again tested the resilience of the Gascoyne.Parts of Carnarvon and surrounding areasremain under water, with levels receding, after experiencing one of the worst floods in the past 50 years. Large swathes of the town and its agricultural surrounds were submerged under murky orange water from last Thursday,after an intense tropical weather system unleashed a 200mm torrent of rain in the Gascoyne region.“In front of me, where the torrent was, the road was peeling away, you could see it floating away,” said truck driver Rob Minson, who had to be rescued.Carnarvon’s fortified floodmitigation network — installed in 2013 after a devastating deluge three years earlier — was tested when the Gascoyne River flooded.The flooding was in the plantations and caravan parks — but not the town of Carnarvon,withthe shire having builtthe levee bank along Boundary Road about 4km out of town for protection.Extra work was carried outon Thursdayby SES volunteersto deal with the inundation.The Gascoyne River gauging station recorded a peak height at 7.1m at 1.20pm on Saturday,which has since fallentonear pre-flood levels of about 4m,butroads remained inundated with water. DFES Mid West Gascoyne Superintendent Craig Smith said the region had not experienced the river that high since 2010.Josh Barr, 18,was among those rescued by helicopter on Friday. Hailing from Dunsborough, he was only two weeks into a stint working at the roadhouse.He said the river was bone dry when he arrived. He would never have guessed he wouldbe wading through knee-deep water only acouple of weeks later.The town of Carnarvon has also experienced heavy rain, with streets and backyards quickly filling with water— and locals making the most of the otherwise dire situation.Bakery Plus owner Felicia Verloria, originally from Vietnam, said the town “felt like the streets of Saigon”, while children, families and dogs happily played in the river that filled the roads. Picture: Katie Thoars/Jessie and Teddy on North River Road in Carnarvon

Midwest Times
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A man and child play in the floodwaters in Carnarvon. Picture: Picture: Cassandra Taylor

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Conditions near Minilya Roadhouse north of Carnarvon. Picture: Supplied

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The Nine Mile Bridge at 10.30am on Saturday. Picture: Katie Thoars/Supplied, Katie Thoars

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Flooding in Carnarvon. Picture: Supplied

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Parts of Carnarvon under water. Picture: Picture: Carnarvon Growers Association

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Carnarvon Floods - James Liveris @james_liveris · 5h This is the effect of flooding in Carnarvon. My mate from school started this banana plantation from scratch - it would be devastating if the trees go down. @ABCRural Picture: Twitter