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Pastoralists in WA’s Kimberley region ‘exhausted’ amid record flooding

Pastoralists in WA’s Kimberley region ‘exhausted’ amid record flooding


How are you after the week that’s been yeah I’m pretty exhausted Danika we’re um but we’re yeah we’re getting we’re getting through all right we’re healthy and and um yeah a livestock of of um taken a hit but we’re um we’re getting high drops at the moment a lot of helicopters working.

Up and Down the River um there could be anywhere from yeah 20 30 helicopters working here at the moment and we’re just saying some Vision that you’ve sent us yourself of uh you’re up above in what looks like a helicopter or a drone up there looking at the property um it looks completely flooded how.

Widespread is the damage yeah it’s over it’s over an entire region Danica the um the Fitzroy catchments uh 800 kilometers long and um the river here itself a few days ago was 40 kilometers wide this is what you see now is our property Coweta station um Downstream of Fitzroy Crossing they um we received just under 300.

Millimeters of rain in five days um however upstreams received 360 mils in one day and 800 mils over the five six day period so it um it came up a lot quicker than we could ever expect um however we’ve dealt with it as a community quite well we’ve had a lot of outside support and internal support so we’re uh yeah we’re going pretty well.

Haven’t had a lot of time to process it all yet it’s just come so quick but um yeah a lot of decision making quite quick processes yeah of course and you you mentioned your cattle has been impacted have you been able to assess the extent of that get and the extent of damage yeah I have.

Had a yeah I’ve been in the air every day um checking stock feeding animals um swimming cuddle um shifting cattle ahead of the flood waters in the rain they um we we haven’t fared too bad here compared to some but as a um as a.

Community and as a as a region there’s um there’s been some significant losses how long do you think it’s going to take to recover from this oh it’s um yeah that’s probably the million dollar question at the moment Danica the um it’s hard to say as the waters go down we’re finding more and more.

Infrastructure um losses and um just like our first priority was human lives um it turned into a pretty pretty nasty situation pretty quick so it was it was human life’s animals human lives than animals and now infrastructure so um we’re we’re assessing damages but we’re.

Finding more and more as yeah there’s no doubt it must have been a very difficult time this week for many members of your community how is everyone holding up actually um surprisingly really well Tanika they’re um they’re really resilient bunch of people.

Up here they’ve dealt with um they’ve never dealt with anything on this scale before however they um they’ve been under some tremendously testing situations in the past and um and they’re just dealing with it day by day at the moment um like I said we didn’t have a lot of time so we had to act pretty quick the.

Only access up here at the moment’s helicopter um there’s been entire businesses washed away um houses Homestead communities underwater it’s um yeah it’s quite um amazing to see the instruction it’s caused.

And just finally is there any more that can be done in your view to Future proof the area to prevent a disaster of this scale again probably not um just off the top of my head to make of those um when you’re getting that that amount of rain on such scale in such a short.

Period of time there’s just absolutely nothing can be done um we however that the helicopter companies up here have just done a tremendous job at shifting animals ahead of the flood waters and and in the flood waters and um and now it’s just day by day we’re just shifting we’ve got cattle on Islands that’ll be.

Stuck there for for some weeks so um getting high to them and is um is our number one priority at the moment Lachlan thank you so much for joining us after what’s been a very difficult week all the best with the recovery and for what happens here on in thank you so much for your time this morning