Storm clean up continues

Kate MatthewsCountryman

The clean up of rural roads in the Shire of Pingelly could take up to 12 months to complete following a freak storm that hit the region on January 29.

Described as worse than Cyclone Alby, wind gusts of up to 125km/hour ripped through the region causing extensive damage.

York and Northam were particularly badly hit, with roofs torn from houses and public buildings all but destroyed.

In Pingelly, the destruction from the storm can still be seen with tin roofs scattered through paddocks, fences down and trees lining the road verges waiting to be removed.

After the storm hit the Wheatbelt town in the late afternoon, farmers and shire workers worked late into the night to clear debris from as many roads as possible.

It took contractors six weeks to clean up the town and the estimated cost totalled $145,000 due to fallen trees.

Efforts are now focused on cleaning up rural roads so farmers can rebuild fallen fence lines.

Pingelly Shire manager of works Wayne Jolly said because of the extent of the damage, this could take up to 12 months with an estimated clean-up cost of $1.4 million.

He said the shire was working with farmers, who were allowing trees to be piled in heaps on their properties to burn when the weather cooled.

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