Carnarvon floods close North West Coastal Highway

Brianna Dugan and Daryna ZadvirnaThe West Australian
VideoHundreds of people have been cut off from food and supplies by the floods in Carnarvon

Carnarvon and surrounding areas remain under water with the Bureau of Meteorology saying the floods were among the worst recorded in 50 years. 

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services have warned parts of the North West Coastal Highway has been washed away after heavy rains.

At least 40 people have been rescued by the RAC Rescue helicopter after their cars became trapped in flood waters. They have been given emergency accommodation by the Department of Communities.

Main Roads spokesperson Dean Roberts said there is about 10km from Carnarvon to Minilya that were completely washed away, leaving just a trace of what was once the popular highway. 

“It will be at least seven days before we can get crews in there to make repairs,” Mr Roberts said. 

A flood warning remains in place for people in the Gascoyne River catchment area.

North West Coastal Highway is closed to all vehicles from Blowholes Road to Burkett Road

DFES have been co-ordinating with SES volunteers since Saturday and have planned for a helicopter to carry fuel to the Carnarvon and outlying regions for generators on Monday. 

SES have received 31 requests for assistance in the Midwest Gascoyne since Friday morning, and the volunteers are still assisting with current operations.

Many residents have experienced the full damage of the floods – with farmer’s crops destroyed. 

Minilya Bridge Roadhouse owner Terry McGuirk said he hasn’t slept for days. 

“Was very much like a movie…we spent a good 48 hours straight just bailing water, yeah we are all pretty exhausted…we were knee deep in water at the back of the shop, ” he told 7NEWS.

Pilot Justin Borg said the emergency response took too long to reach the region. 

“This is an ongoing concern for regional Western Australians up here – we are remote but sometimes we feel like we are treated like second class citizens,” he told 7NEWS.

Premier Mark McGowan is trying to seek Federal funding for those who have been affected by the disastrous floods. 

DFES has warned flooded property owners to be mindful of electrical hazards when entering their homes. 

While a fallen power line may appear harmless, it could be live and deadly to approach. It’s always safest to assume a fallen power line is live and to stay at least 10 metres away. 

A flood warning remains in place for people in the Gascoyne River catchment area.
Camera IconA flood warning remains in place for people in the Gascoyne River catchment area. Credit: DFES

Power has been restored to at least 320 homes in and around Carnarvon and the restoration will continue as the flood waters recede and it’s safe for the Horizon Power crews to do so.

No more rain is expected in the area in the coming few days, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

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