Home Weather Defence Force on standby as superstorm set to lash WA

Defence Force on standby as superstorm set to lash WA

Photo: BOM.

Emergency services, the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and Western Australia’s Department of Health are all on standby as a superstorm is set to lash the state on Sunday.

The State Emergency Service, Western Power and the Department of Fire and Emergency Services spent Saturday preparing for the wild weather by making sure extra crews and resources were ready when help is needed.

Damaging winds, abnormally high tides, heavy rainfall and flash flooding, are to be expected across the state.

Bureau of Meteorology WA state manager James Ashley said the state could expect strong wind gusts of up to 130 kilometres an hour, large swells and heavy rainfall which will benefit farmers.

“The weather situation is dynamic and complex as a tropical system interacts with a cold front,” Bureau of Meteorology WA state manager James Ashley said.

“Strong winds and rain will start along the upper part of the west coast on Sunday morning.

“Areas west of a line, approximately, from Karratha to Esperence are likely to be affected during Sunday, with the main areas of severe weather contracting to the southern part of the state during Monday.”

The Department of Emergency Services acting assistant commissioner Jon Broomhall said he had consulted with authorities to bring in help from the eastern states and travel exemptions would apply if assistance were needed.

“We are asking the community to secure their properties now, people need to clean up their gardens, people need to get rid of refuse, trim trees around the garden, and secure furniture, trampolines, toys, anything that is loose in their backyard,” DFES acting assistant commissioner Jon Broomhall said.

Authorities said this is a rare event for WA due to the extent of the area under threat and the possibility of multiple regions facing dangerous weather conditions.

The WA Police Force said people need to be prepared.

“It is important that all members of the community prepare, whether it be securing boats, securing loose objects in gardens, or reconsidering whether travel is essential,” WA Police posted to social media.

DFES has issued a severe weather warning and a total fire ban which came into affect on Saturday.

When a total fire ban is in place, it is an offence to light, maintain, or use a fire in the open area or any activities which could cause a fire including all open fires for cooking or camping and hot work such as metalwork, grinding, welding, soldering, gas cutting or similar.

DFES has advised the following for the severe weather warning:

  • If outside find safe shelter away from trees, power lines, storm water drains and streams.
  • Close your curtains and blinds, and stay inside away from windows.
  • Unplug electrical appliances and do not use landline telephones if there is lightning.
  • If boating, swimming or surfing leave the water.
  • Be alert and watch for hazards on the road such as fallen power lines and loose debris.
  • Keep away from flooded drains, rivers, streams and waterways.
  • Be careful of fallen trees, damaged buildings and debris.
  • Be careful of fallen power lines. They are dangerous and should always be treated as live.
  • Assess your home, car and property for damage.
  • If damage has occurred, take photos and contact your insurance company to organise permanent repairs.

To report storm damage or an emergency call the following numbers:

If your home or property is significantly damaged, call SES on 132 500.

Life-threatening emergencies call 000.

Police attendance or to report an incident call 131 444.

Downed and damaged powerlines call Western Power on 13 13 51.

For updated emergency information, visit the following sites:

Emergency Alerts via DFES at www.emergency.wa.gov.au.

Weather updates at BOM www.bom.gov.au.

Power outages and fault information visit westernpower.com.au.

Road closures and traffic updates visit mainroads.wa.gov.au.