Cyclone Lua's fury also brings welcome rains

Claire Tyrrell and AAPCountryman

While pastoralists are cleaning up after tropical cyclone Lua, farmers in southern parts of the State are welcoming soaking rains.

The cyclone crossed the Pilbara coast on Saturday and spread to the Goldfields on Sunday, where it weakened to below cyclone intensity.

Yarrie station, 90km north-east of Marble Bar, was the hardest hit.

Annabelle Coppin, of Yarrie homestead, said Lua went right over the cattle station and blew hard for about three hours, leaving a trail of damage.

"We've got a massive mess to clean up, a few buildings that look a bit sad and a sad-looking garden," she said. "It will probably take at least 12 months to get back to where we were a couple of hours ago but we live in a cyclone area so that's what happens."

More than 70mm of rain fell at Yarrie overnight on Saturday.

Geoff Mills, of Warrawagine station 140km east of Marble Bar, said Lua caused up to $70,000 worth of damage to the property.

"We lost part of the roof off my house, a chook shed, three roller doors, a roof off two carport bays, a 40-foot accommodation unit and the roof caved in on part of the homestead," he said.

"We also had a lot of trees blown over and branches snapped off."

Geoff and his wife Lynda braved wind gusts of up to 180km on Saturday evening.

The family recorded just 20mm of rain on Saturday night, but 75mm for the seven-day period since last Tuesday.

"Because we've had so much rain, I haven't been able to check any windmills or solar pumps - I suspect they've been damaged too," Mr Mills said.

He said the rain would be beneficial to the 411,000-hectare station, where he runs 20,000 head of cattle. "The rain was beautiful, because it came in small parts so it would have soaked in," he said.

Mr Mills said a small number of cattle could have been lost from cyclone Lua, but he would not know numbers until next week.

The cyclone was downgraded to a category one by the time it reached Newman.

Port Hedland residents experienced strong gusting winds up to 150km/h but the town escaped major damage.

Bureau of Meteorology senior meteorologist Andrew Burton said the remnants of Lua brought falls of up to 50mm to Goldfields districts on Sunday.

"Most of the system had weakened below tropical cyclone intensity by the time it got to the Goldfields, so it was really rainfall from there on," he said.

"If you drew a line between Leonora, Norseman and Salmon Gums, most of the rain would have fallen on that line and just to the west."

Salmon Gums farmer Sam Guest recorded 50mm of rain overnight on Sunday.

He said it had been at least two years since he had received that much rain.

"It gives us some confidence for the season and moisture for seeding," he said.

"All the cracks on our heavy country are smooth and the soil profile is full. The rain fell gently over a 24 hour period - it was perfect."

Esperance received 42mm overnight on Sunday and Leonora had 33mm on Saturday night and 26mm on Sunday.

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