Great Northern Highway remains closed due to flooding

Following a weekend of torrential rain and wild weather in parts of WA, the Great Northern Highway remains closed between Fitzroy Crossing and Halls Creek.

The road was closed on Sunday morning and is expected to remain out of access during the coming days.

Regional Manager Gerry Zoetelief at Main Roads Western Australia told the ABC Kimberley that the Fitzroy and Margaret Rivers continue to rise.

“We think it’ll be closed for a while,” he told ABC Kimberley. “I would say that people you won’t be moving between the east and west Kimberley by road this week unless something changes.”

He was at Fitzroy Crossing where he says trucks and cars were beginning to bank up.

“There are quite a few parked on the Fitzroy Crossing side,” he said. “We are also carting some fuel through to another couple on the Halls Creek side so that they can return back the other way, because we think the highway could be shut for as long as a week now depending on how much rain comes.”

The Bureau of Meteorology has today issued a severe weather warning for damaging winds and heavy rainfall in parts of the Kimberley, Pilbara and North Interior districts.

Weatherzone reports that the recent rainfall has been the heaviest the Kimberley has seen in 120 years.

This photo shared by Weatherzone shows flooding in Broome.

“Broome Airport has recorded 326mm of rain since 9am Monday morning, with 48-hour totals reaching a 120-year high of 563mm. In just two days, Broome airport received more rain than during the whole of 2021,” reported Weatherzone.

“To the east of Broome, Fitzroy crossing saw daily rainfall totals of 128mm to 9am Monday morning. Koolan Island also clocked a 102km/h damaging wind gust on Monday morning.”

Gibb River Road between Kalumburu turnoff and Pentecost River also remains closed, as does the Broome-Cape Leveque Road in both directions from Manari Road to Banana Wells turnoff.

The Great Northern Highway between Broome Road and Derby Highway, and between Halls Creek and Victoria Highway is open with caution. Main Roads WA warns of possible flash flooding and says to allow extra travel time and check floodway depths.

While other parts of the state including the Coastal Central West, Gascoyne, East Pilbara Inland, Ashburton Inland and Inland Central West have been issued with a fire weather warning due to very hot and dry conditions.

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services WA has also issued a bushfire emergency warning this morning for people in an area bounded by Canning Mills Road and Mills Road East to the south, the Powerline Track to the west, Suneca Road to the east, and Versteeg Grove to the north, near Korung National Park. On its Facebook page, it warns, “If the way is clear, leave now for a safer place. Do not wait and see, leaving at the last minute is deadly.”

For the latest fire warning updates, click here.

Meanwhile in the Northern Territory, yesterday’s reports revealed that Uluru had received 57mm of rainfall in 24 hours, with “waterfalls” cascading down the rock.

For the latest road closure updates, click here.

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