Unseasonal heavy rain and strong cold front hit Western Australia, leaving 40 000 properties without power

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Unseasonal rain, in parts record-breaking, and a strong cold front hit Western Australia on June 4 and 5, 2018, leaving more than 40 000 properties without power. On average, this region sees fronts like this about five times per year. 

Damaging wind gusts up to 109 km/h (68 mph) and heavy rain left more than 40 000 properties without power in southern Western Australia today. The state’s utility said restoring power from Kalbarri to Albany may be slow as bad weather hampers repair works.

“We expect to restore power to Albany town center Tuesday evening, and our crews will continue to work throughout the night to inspect and restore power to the greater Albany area. Additional crews will be back at first light on Wednesday morning, and, weather permitting, we’ll be able to use helicopter patrols,” a Western Power spokesperson said.

According to Australia Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) spokesperson, Neil Bennet, the conditions were expected to ease over Perth late Tuesday afternoon.

“Rains arrived early this year after several seasons of winter starting and finishing late in Western Australia’s south,” Bennet said.

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Farmers have benefited from record rains pelting Gascoyne, with Denham recording 98 mm (3.8 inches) of rain in the 24 hours to 09:00 local time June 5, Perth Now reports. This broke its previous monthly record set in June 1965.

Officials urged people to avoid coastal waters as high tides and rough seas could erode beaches, with swells from 3 to 5 m (10 – 16 feet) expected.

“As we head into Wednesday the heavier rain will extend further inland through the Pilbara, and we’ll see some follow up showers for parts of the southwest,” BOM’s senior meteorologist, Adam Morgan, said.

Rain is likely to continue over Perth until the weekend, with a chance of thunderstorms from late Tuesday to Thursday, June 7.

Featured image credit: 7News Perth

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