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Iconic jetty decimated by cyclonic seas

Anthony Sharwood, Tuesday April 13, 2021 - 11:21 EST

It was the pride of a town – a mile-long timber jetty which once supported a railway which helped transport livestock, wool, sandalwood and pearls around the world by ship. It is now in tatters.

The famous One Mile Jetty in Carnarvon (population 5,500) in WA's Gascoyne region, was severely battered by Cyclone Seroja.

Image: The harm after the storm. Source: Jules Kenny (@juliet.romeo.kilo on Instagram).

While the worst damage and strongest winds from Seroja were slightly further south in the Murchison region, where the town of Kalbarri was hardest hit, Carnarvon still recorded wind gusts of 107 km/h early on Sunday afternoon.

That was enough to whip up huge seas that ripped significant chunks out of the jetty, turning a local landmark into a local ruin.

If you look closely at this image, you can see the side view of the jetty and how much is missing.

The jetty was built in 1897. Though it was listed with both state and national heritage trusts, it was already in a pretty bad state of disrepair. In fact it closed to public access in 2017 when it was deemed unsafe.

At that time, it was announced that $42 million was needed to repair it, a figure well beyond the reach of the Carnarvon Heritage Group. It is unknown what that bill would be now, but you’d have to imagine it would be astronomically higher.

Meanwhile the remnants of Cyclone Seroja have well and truly cleared the region now, and Carnarvon is tipped to stay dry for at least the next week, with temps rising into the low thirties by the end of the working week.

The forecast for the jetty may be less positive.

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