Weather News

Wind gusts bring down trees, powerlines in Perth as front moves across south-west WA

Sunday August 1, 2021 - 09:44 EST
ABC image
The State Emergency Service has received more than 100 calls for assistance, many involving fallen trees. - ABC

Strong winds have brought down trees and damaged powerlines in Perth as another cold front crosses the south-west of WA.

The front is bringing gusty showers, thunderstorms and damaging winds to a large swathe of the state, from Lancelin to Albany, with damaging wind gusts of up to 110 kilometres per hour forecast.

The State Emergency Service (SES) received 140 requests for assistance in the 24 hours to 12:30pm on Sunday, most of them from residents in the Perth metropolitan area.

Many of the calls related to fallen trees, with powerlines damaged in Roleystone, Mahogany Creek and Kelmscott.

About 22,000 customers were without power at one point, mainly in the metropolitan area.

"The damaging winds associated with the front have thrown debris, including tree branches, into the network, damaging equipment and bringing down powerlines," a Western Power spokesperson said.

"Repair work will be undertaken once conditions are safe, including using elevated work platforms which can't be used during dangerous winds."

Water ingress and minor roof or structural damage were also widely reported.

Michael Baker's home in Two Rocks was among the most extensively damaged.

The roof was blown off by the storm, ending up in the backyard.

He said it was devastating to see his home so damaged, but there had been one positive.

"All the neighbours have been down, [asking] 'do you need anything? Let us know'," he said.

"People I don't even know what been calling in to say 'can we do anything, can we help'.

"It's been marvellous."

Severe thunderstorms are forecast on Sunday afternoon and evening in the Perth Metropolitan, Great Southern, South West and Lower South West districts, covering an area from Perth to Esperance.

Cold temperatures associated with the front brought snow flurries to Bluff Knoll, in the Stirling Ranges, which typically records snow once or twice a year.

Damaging surf conditions are forecast to cause significant beach erosion between Shark Bay and Esperance.

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) said residents in affected regions should take action, including closing curtains and blinds in the event of lightning and preparing to use sandbags in case of flooding.

Another cold front approaching

Bureau of Meteorology duty meteorologist Max Strack said conditions were expected to "ease fairly quickly from now".

"We'll then have a couple of days where we're actually under the influence of a ridge of high pressure," she said.

"That's going to lead to lighter winds and less rainfall, but we do have another cold front which looks like it's going to come through on the weekend."

She said that front could bring more cold weather and rainfall, but it was too early to forecast how severe it would be.

Temperatures during the week are expected to peak on Friday, with a break in the rain forecast from Wednesday to Friday.

Further south, Ms Strack said conditions were also expected to ease.

"We've had dangerous surf conditions between Shark Bay and Esperance for quite a while, for the last week or so," she said.

"That's finally starting to dissipate as well."


© ABC 2021

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