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Towns cut off on South Coast Highway after storm damages roads

By John Dobson, Tuesday June 22, 2021 - 03:22 EST
ABC image
The road network on WA's south coast has been severely damaged. - ABC

Roads between Albany and Denmark on Western Australia's south coast may remain closed for several days after flood damage, with some towns cut off entirely.

More than 100mm fell in some areas on the coast, around 450km south-east of Perth, on Sunday night while wind gusts brought down trees and powerlines.

Parts of the South Coast Highway and Lower Denmark Road have been washed away due to floodwaters.

The highway is closed between George Street and the Sleeman River bridge.

Main Roads Great Southern manager Andrew Duffield said it would be three to four days before the highway reopened.

"We're thinking that certainly three to four days to make the road safe and accessible for the people is what we're looking at," he said.

Mr Duffield said there was still debris on many roads across the region and urged drivers to take care.

"It's really important that people drive to the conditions, particularly at night-time," he said.

"We wouldn't want people driving off the side of roads.

"It's particularly important people do take care if they're out on the network at the moment."

Mr Duffield said it was some of the worst storm damage he had seen.

City of Albany operations manager Damon Lawrence said Lower Denmark Road was a priority with the road closed from Cuthbert.

"That road has been severely affected," he said.

"We're trying to get some access through there in the next few days."

The storm hit around 6:00pm on Sunday causing widespread damage and leaving 15,000 properties without power. 

Western Power spokeswoman Jean Burton said power had been restored to most of those properties.

"There are still around 1,500 homes without power, the majority in the Mt Barker and Denmark area," she said.

"There are many scattered pockets ? we expect the majority will have power restored today."

Ms Burton said conditions overnight were difficult and crews from other regions were assisting.


© ABC 2021

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