Cyclone fun for some
The first cyclone of the season may have been a bit of a fizzer on the coast for those wanting rain, but it didn’t stop locals from making the most of it. Significant falls inland have flooded waterways, leading to several rescues by emergency services.
The first cyclone of the season once again proved the most dangerous of times are also the most spectacular, with floods, surf and blood-red skies lighting up social media at the weekend.
Ex-tropical cyclone Stan intensified to a category two cyclone as it made landfall East of Pardoo on Sunday morning.
The lack of significant rain between Port Hedland and Karratha was disappointing for many, with Roebourne Aero recording 38.2mm and Karratha Aero 11.8mm.
The Department of Fire and Emergency Services, police and volunteers made numerous rescues as flooding occurred inland.
DFES Pilbara district officer Paul Leiper said the weekend was a timely reminder to steer clear of flooded waterways and washed out tracks.
“On Friday night there was a search for a missing adult and two kids down towards Newman,” he said.
“The car had become disabled and they’d wandered away, ” he said. “A guy also got bogged out towards Telfer and the rescue party were able to get to him, (after) he slept in the car overnight.”
SES also helped Roebourne police when a vehicle became stuck at a flooded crossing towards Harding Dam. Mr Leip- er said two rescues were conducted — one near Paraburdoo and one near Nullagine — in which vehicles had been swept away by floodwaters.
Whim Creek Hotel manager Bob Bongiorno was preparing for the worst as early tracking maps had Stan headed right for the historic pub.
“We have pretty elaborate procedures to deal with cyclones, being in the middle of a few hills which divert water right into us,” he said.
“We didn’t even get any serious wind gusts until we reopened for lunch on Sunday.”
Pyramid Station manager Glen Connell said while only recording 11.2mm over the weekend, having the rivers flowing was a “huge” relief.
Sunset on Friday night as a tropical low develops off the coast.
Joe Madaff surfs at Point Samson.
Surfers lined up at Point Samson