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Cyclone Seroja: ‘Utter chaos’ residents describe roofs ‘rolling down the street’

Liam Bartlett, Steve Mills & Oliver Peterson
Article image for Cyclone Seroja: ‘Utter chaos’ residents describe roofs ‘rolling down the street’

The tourist town of Kalbarri copped the full brunt of Cyclone Seroja as it crossed the mainland as a severe category three system.

Deputy President of the Kalbarri Ward in the Shire of Northampton, Shane Krakouer, told 6PR’s Liam Bartlett the area looks like a war zone.

“It was just utter chaos, everybody’s roof was just rolling down the street,” he said.

“There is going to be a lot of people that are going to be homeless.

“There is houses everywhere with no roofs.

“I have got somebody’s roof in my backyard and I don’t even know whose it is.

“There is a palm tree in the courthouse.

“I have never seen anything like it.”

The system was downgraded to a tropical low as it went inland overnight, and is expected to move offshore near Esperance in the coming hours.

Manager of the Kalbarri SES, Steve Cable, said the clean up will be huge.

“We are flat out, we have all only had a couple of hours sleep,” he said.

“There’s are a lot roofs missing, partial roofs missing, powerlines downs, trees across road.

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Melissa Finlay from popular restaurant Finlay’s Kalbarri said her business survived mostly unscathed, but the rest of the town wasn’t so lucky.

“Pretty much every tree has fallen down, so the whole place is covered in branches,” she said.

“House are just left with nothing, roofs are off every second house.

“It’s pretty devastating.”

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Speaking on Perth LIVE with Oliver Peterson, Nationals WA MP Shane Love said communications are down for the entire region.

“Well over 90 mobile base stations are not working at the moment,” he said.

As well as that, there’s ADSL and NBN and fixed land line services all down.

“It’s really become a problem for people to keep in touch.”

Another issue ahead of the region is lack of accommodation for displaced residents and workers in town to help with the clean up.

“There’s just so much damage, there’ll be problems with accommodation,” said Mr Love

“It’s an issue that’ll need to be addressed quickly.”

Telstra have released the following statement:

We are also having significant issues with our mobile and landline services feeding into Geraldton.

It appears that there issues with two external exchanges at Eneabba and Perenjori.

At this stage we are still investigating if this is power or transmission  related.

We have crews on the way to these sites.

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Liam Bartlett, Steve Mills & Oliver Peterson