DFES warns South West to take action with severe thunderstorms

Bunbury's tower is nearly impossible to see with sever thunderstorms on Thursday March 4. Photo by Scott Donoghue.
Bunbury's tower is nearly impossible to see with sever thunderstorms on Thursday March 4. Photo by Scott Donoghue.

South West, Perth, Lower South West residents are being urged to take with severe thunderstorms on Thursday March 4.

If you live in in parts of the South West, Great Southern and parts of Goldfields, Lower West, South Coastal, South East Coastal and Central Wheat Belt districts you should take action and stay safe with severe thunderstorms to come.

Locations which may be affected include Busselton, Bunbury, Esperance, Kalgoorlie, Katanning, Manjimup, MargaretRiver, Merredin, Narrogin, Norseman, Northam, Southern Cross and Wagin.

Storms could be more intense than usual, with rainfall rates that are higher than typically seen at this time of year.

The Bureau of Meteorology advised at 8:00 am the radar and satellite imagery showed areas of active thunderstorms developing across the South West Capes and extending to the east across Bunbury.

Throughout the warning area severe thunderstorms are likely to produce heavy rainfall that may lead to dangerous flash flooding, whilst thunderstorms over central and eastern parts of the warning area may also produce damaging winds.

WHAT TO DO:

DFES advises you to:

  • If outside find safe shelter away from trees, powerlines, storm water drains and streams.
  • Close your curtains and blinds, and stay inside away from windows.
  • Unplug electrical appliances and avoid using landline telephones if there is lightning.
  • If there is flooding, create your own sandbags by using pillow cases filled with sand and place them around doorways to protect your home.
  • If boating, swimming or surfing leave the water.

IF DRIVING:

  • Do not drive into water of unknown depth and current.
  • Slow down, turn your lights on and keep a safe distance from other drivers.
  • Be alert and watch for hazards on the road such as fallen powerlines and loose debris.
  • If it is raining heavily and you cannot see, pull over and park with your hazard lights on until the rain clears.

People are being urged to do what they can to help themselves, if it is safe to do so, before calling the SES for assistance.

Take care in areas that have been flooded and be careful driving on gravel roads as surfaces will be slippery and muddy, and vehicles could become bogged.

ROAD CLOSURES AND CONDITIONS:

Roads have been closed including:

  • Peel Terrace between Wellington Street East and Yilgarn Avenue in Northam
  • Northam-Pithara Road both directions south of Yarromony Road/Jennapullin Crescent to Patterson Road
  • Minson Avenue

Roads now open with caution:

  • Goomalling -Toodyay Road at Nunile Road in Nunile
  • Northam - York Road from railway crossing near Lot 1 Northam York Road to Rogers Road in Muluckine

Motorists are advised to exercise extreme caution on several roads experiencing flooding in the region.

Do not drive into water of unknown depth and current.

Road information may also be available from Main Roads WA by calling 138 138 or visiting travelmap.mainroads.wa.gov.au or by contacting your Local Government Authority.

WATER:

Water Corporation has advised Northam residents to avoid contact with floodwater which may be contaminated by wastewater. People should not swim, fish or recreate in the Avon River in the vicinity of Northam until further notice. Report any access chambers (manholes) discharging water or dislodged access chamber covers to Water Corporation on 13 13 75. For more information visit Water Corporation.

WHAT EMERGENCY SERVICES ARE DOING:

  • DFES is monitoring the situation.
  • Emergency services have answered more than 95 calls for help since 5pm Tuesday.
  • Damage due to water ingress and flooding has been reported in Northam, York, Merredin and some parts of the Perth Metropolitan Area.
  • Northam was worst hit with 40 calls for help yesterday due to water ingress and flooding.
  • SES Volunteers respond on a priority basis and people are asked to remain patient.
  • 4 State Emergency Services (SES) volunteers from Northam units are making temporary repairs to homes, pumping out flood water.

IF YOU NEED ASSISTANCE:

  • If your home has been badly damaged by a storm, call the SES on 132 500
  • In a life threatening situation call 000

After a storm SES volunteers make temporary repairs to homes that have been badly damaged, such as roofs that have been ripped off or large fallen trees on homes or cars. Please contact your insurance company to organise permanent repairs.

KEEP UP TO DATE:

Visit emergency.wa.gov.au, call 13 DFES (13 3337), follow DFES on Twitter: twitter.com/dfes_wa, Facebook: facebook.com/dfeswa, listen to ABC Local Radio, 6PR, or news bulletins.

During a power outage, your home phone, computer or other electronic devices connected to the NBN will not work. Include a battery powered radio in your emergency kit.

Updates will be provided when the situation changes.

This story Severe weather warning for south of WA first appeared on Bunbury Mail.