Shire counts cy­clone costs

Broome Advertiser - - Front Page - Glenn Cord­ing­ley and Jakeb Wad­dell

Up to $10 mil­lion of dis­as­ter re­lief fund­ing and a $380,000 in­sur­ance claim will be lodged by the Shire of Broome af­ter two cy­clones and a low-pres­sure sys­tem ham­mered the town within five weeks of each other.

A claim has been made to in­sur­ers as Shire of­fi­cers look to en­gage a con­sul­tant to man­age emer­gency aid money re­lat­ing to other dam­age, in­clud­ing the Broome to Cape Leveque Road and the Short Street/Carnar­von Street round­about in Chi­na­town, which has so far cost $150,000.

The Shire has made a num­ber of in­sur­ance claims on be­half of var­i­ous or­gan­i­sa­tions as part of their lease agree­ment with the Shire, in­clud­ing $195,000 for Broome Bowl­ing Club and up to $30,000 for repairs at Broome Turf Club.

Shade sails left up by the Shire of Broome that were sub­se­quently torn to shreds by cy­clone Hilda on De­cem­ber 27 will cost $83,000 to re­place.

Lo­cated at Town Beach, the Broome Aquatic and Recre­ation Cen­tre, res­i­den­tial es­tate Broome North and Ca­ble Beach, the struc­tures were not able to with­stand howl­ing gusts gen­er­ated by the cat­e­gory one weather sys­tem.

At the time Shire pres­i­dent Harold Tracey said fore­casts and ad­vice in­di­cated there would be suf­fi­cient time to re­move the struc­tures. How­ever, winds reached un­safe lev­els sooner than ex­pected and a de­ci­sion was made to leave them be­cause re­mov­ing them would have been dan­ger­ous to staff.

Cr Tracey said he was pleased with the ef­forts of the Shire staff, “given the vol­ume of dam­age over a short pe­riod of time”.

“One of the is­sues with cy­clone Hilda is that it caught ev­ery­one off guard and by the time the weather event was im­mi­nent, it was too late and un­safe to take the shade sails down,” he said.

“There were al­ready plans to re­place the dam­aged shade sails at Town Beach as they were at the end of their life cy­cle.”

Ex-trop­i­cal cy­clone Hilda was the first to hit and Joyce made her pres­ence felt two weeks later on Jan­uary 11 as she strad­dled the Kim­ber­ley coast­line.

But it was a trop­i­cal low on

Jan­uary 29 that de­liv­ered the heav­i­est rain­fall, with wide­spread flood­ing caus­ing clo­sures of the Great North­ern High­way and all un­sealed Shire roads, many of which are yet to re­open.

A record 1.5m of rain has been dumped on the tourist town since the be­gin­ning of the year as a re­sult of the ex­treme weather.

Pic­ture: Jakeb Wad­dell

Work­ers take down shade sails af­ter cy­clone Hilda.

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