Weather warning: Coastal WA braces for severe storm with destructive winds and heavy rain

Geraldton Guardian
The affected area.
Camera IconThe affected area. Credit: Bureau of Meteorology

Authorities have repeated calls for people to prepare for destructive winds and heavy rain later this afternoon and tonight.

The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast an abrupt change in the weather as a strong cold front moves over western and south parts of WA.

Possible areas affected are from Denham to Albany.

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The bureau warns that damaging winds with gusts to 100 kilometres per hour, which could result in damage to homes and property, are likely near the Southwest Capes from about 5pm, extending to Shark Bay, the Perth Metropolitan area and Walpole around 8pm and to remaining parts of the warning area overnight.

“Dangerous gusts in excess of 125 kilometres per hour that could cause significant damage or destruction to homes and property are possible in coastal areas, particularly near the west coast between Jurien Bay and Walpole,” the warning reads.

It also warns of rough seas, high tides and potential flooding in low-lying coastal areas.

Heavy rains are predicted, with 24-hour rainfall totals to 9am Friday expected to be between 20 and 40 millimetres, with totals exceeding 50 millimetres in some areas.

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services warns that the storm could damage homes and make travel dangerous.

The department has issued the following advice:

  • 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.
  • 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.

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.

VideoThere was plenty of thunder and lightning - and no shortage of rain - as Perth and the South West were hit with the first big cold front of the year.

ROAD CLOSURES AND CONDITIONS:

Some roads may be closed.

Take extra care on the roads and do not drive into water of unknown depth and current.

Road information may also be available by calling Main Roads WA on 138 138 or visiting www.mainroads.wa.gov.au or your local Shire.

WHAT EMERGENCY SERVICES ARE DOING:

  • DFES is monitoring the situation.

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 www.emergency.wa.gov.au, call 13 DFES (13 3337), follow DFES on Twitter: https://twitter.com/dfes_wa, Facebook: https://facebook.com/dfeswa/, or listen to news bulletins.

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