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Tropical low gives pastoralists good start to new year with rain and floods

Olivia FordCountryman
Jake Densley Bogged at Barwidgee station.
Camera IconJake Densley Bogged at Barwidgee station. Credit: Cammie Densley

The new year has begun with a promising start for pastoralists who were in the path of the tropical low which delivered heavy rain and flash flooding across the State.

The low-pressure system first made its way through the Northern Territory and the Kimberley region before hitting the Pilbara early last week.

The Pilbara, Gascoyne, Goldfields and South Interior districts all received heavy rain and damaging wind warnings.

As the tropical low travelled over the Pilbara, Newman had 130mm of rain in just 12 hours, almost triple the average January rainfall for the town.

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A flooded aeroplane hangar at Paroo Station after the downpour.
Camera IconA flooded aeroplane hangar at Paroo Station after the downpour. Credit: James Ford

Major roads near Newman such as the Great Northern Highway and Marble Bar road were both closed due to severe stormy conditions.

The Great Northern Highway has since opened, however the Marble Bar road was still temporarily shut as of January 29.

By Thursday, the tropical low came further south to the Midwest.

Meekatharra shire president Harvey Nichols said the town recorded 30mm from the tropical low, which produced a “gentle and beautiful rain”.

Just north of Meekatharra, Mr Nichol’s Sherwood Station had 34mm.

Mr Nichols said this was a massive difference compared to what was happening east of Meekatharra, which was copping the brunt of the tropical low in the region.

“There wasn’t so much (rain) west of the Goldfields Highway,” Mr Nichols said.

A bungarra keeps dry at Paroo Station.
Camera IconA bungarra keeps dry at Paroo Station. Credit: Ted Forrester

Leonora, Leinster, Wiluna and surrounding areas experienced heavy rainfall, with many stations in the area having flood waters sweep through their homesteads.

Paroo Station, 60km west of Wiluna, had 156.2mm of rain in two days, with a clean-up for the homestead still under way to tidy up the mess left behind by the flood.

Barwidgee Station, 85km south-east of Wiluna, also had heavy rains which flooded the access roads.

Station manager Cammie Densley said the Barwidgee had 144mm in two days, marking their first good rain since April last year.

Rainfall Totals: January 23-29

Kalumburu 391.6mm

Mount Winifred 140.8mm

Roy Hill 133mm

Telfer 119.6mm

Granite Peak 43mm

Carnegie 15mm

Newman 175mm

Tangadee 46.6mm

Neds Creek 74.6mm

Wiluna 128.8mm

Prenti Downs 26.8 mm

Wongawol 11.8 mm

Bulga Downs 14.2 mm

Leinster 107.6mm

Laverton 104.8mm

Leonora 65mm

Edjudina 72.7mm

(Source: BOM)

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