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Most of WA a disaster area after floods

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Most of WA a disaster area after floods

Post by Harry on Wed Feb 15, 2017 8:14 am

Most of WA a disaster area after floods

Updated: 12:43 am, Tuesday, 14 February 2017

- See more at: http://www.skynews.com.au/news/national/wa/2017/02/14/most-of-wa-a-disaster-area-after-floods.html#sthash.B1gnm8CU.dp

Most of Western Australia - an area the size of Western Europe - has been declared a natural disaster area following flooding that has killed at least one person.

The body of Charles Boyes was found on Sunday after he drowned while trying to drive his car onto a flooded road on his property near Esperance in WA's south on Saturday evening.

A 74-year-old Esperance man is still missing after his car was found abandoned under the flooded Jerdacuttup Bridge west of Esperance and a private helicopter pilot rescued 15 people in floodwaters in Ravensthorpe at the weekend.

The flooding that has lashed the state is the worst in 30 years in some areas and is estimated to have caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage with roads, bridges and farms affected.
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Declaring the areas as natural disasters would trigger commonwealth, state and local government co-operation to repair critical public infrastructure, said Premier Colin Barnett.

That was already happening to roads and bridges in WA's south as water receded, although it rained in some areas on Monday.

'It is quite an extraordinary event to have one weather system basically covering all of Western Australia,' he told reporters.

'The areas affected go from the Kimberley in the far north, the Pilbara particularly Karratha, the Wheathbelt, Swan Valley and far south coast where there is probably the most severe damage.

'It is most of the state, an extraordinarily large area.'

Mr Barnett was speaking on the property of Swan Valley table grape growers Darryl and Ann Trease, who have lost an entire year's crop due to be harvested next week.

Grape growers and wine producers across the famous region will experience losses in the tens of millions of dollars.

'That's farming - best case I lose the grapes, worst case the vines die and it's a replant job that takes four years,' he said, estimating it would cost $45,000 a hectare to replace 4ha.

Affected business owners can apply for grants and low interest loans.

AAP

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