CYCLONE Seroja caused much destruction as it blew through the mid-west region, but Mid West Ports Authority reports the damage to Port of Geraldton on the landside is not substantial.
MWPA noted that the damage sustained by the then-category three storm throughout the region is substantial, particularly in the Kalbarri and Northampton communities.
“Here in Geraldton, MWPA encountered 120km winds at the Geraldton Port, storm surge and heavy rainfall. Some damage is evident however, nothing landside that will impact our operations once power is restored,” as statement from MWPA said.
“Hydrographic surveys have commenced to ensure the harbour and channel are free of obstructions, such as rock debris or sand displacement.”
MWPA said about 29,500 homes and businesses across the region are without power – including the Port of Geraldton.
“Once power is re-established, we’ll conduct an operational assessment and resume shipping when it’s safe to do so,” MWPA said.
“We remain in contact with our all of customers and we assure the community that we’re doing everything we can to return the Port to normal operations.”
Local media is reporting that it may take as long as a week to restore full power and normal food and fuel supplies to Geraldton, Northampton and Kalbarri.
The Australian Defence Force is also supporting communities affected by the storm.
Minister for agriculture and emergency management David Littleproud said the Western Australian government prepared early for a worst-case scenario and had asked for ADF assistance in preparation.
“Last night I approved a request from the WA government for ADF assistance and immediately asked Defence through minister Dutton to support this request and begin planning,” Mr Littleproud said.
“Defence will now provide a C-130J Hercules aircraft for medical and other evacuations, and to transport emergency services personnel and supplies including food, water and generators to communities in need.
“Defence is also considering a request from WA for boots on the ground to assist with clean up and damage assessment. These communities need assistance now and we are acting immediately.”