15/6/2012 – Major Metro June Storms

On the 7th June, the Metropolitan Area faced an abnormal weather event, with destructive winds in excess of 120km/hr tearing a path of destruction through residential areas.

Residents have described the terror of a destructive tornado which ripped through Dianella and Morley, flattening powerlines and leaving a trail of damage. 5 Houses were deemed uninhabitable. By 8pm that night the State Emergency Services had received over 80 Requests for Assistance, with more coming in. From there the weather didn’t get any better, which saw several busy days for us, cleaning up the remnants of that original Thursday storm, another on Sunday afternoon and again on the Tuesday.

This abnormal weather has caused alot of damage and required the assistance of several resources.

The statistics are:

  • Over 1400 Requests for Assistance
  • Over 350 personnel involved
  • At least 7 different volunteer services – SES, Bushfire, Fire and Rescue, Marine Rescue, Salvation Army, St Johns, Emergency Services
  • 2 Career groups from FESA – Career Fire and Rescue and Urban Search and Rescue Taskforce (USAR)
  • 25 SES volunteers flown over from South Australia
  • Assistance received from the Army and Navy through DACC (Defence Assistance to the Civil Community)
  • Activation of WANDRRA – WA Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements – see link for info  (http://www.fesa.wa.gov.au/stateemergencymanagement/grantsandrecovery/wandrra/Pages/default.aspx)
  • Other Services in attendance such as Police and Western Power

Belmont SES alone had several teams assisting from Dianella to Mandurah over the last week since the storm occurred. Belmont SES initially sent 1 team out the Thursday afternoon, with a secondary team following them later that afternoon. The first job we attended was on Valentine st, at which point the destruction was clearly evident. Team Leader Suzi Hayward states “We started at the corner and worked our way down the street, cleaning up as we went.”

Even the next day when teams were sent out to the same area it looked like a war zone with powerlines torn down, metal sheeting snagged in the lines, trees down and dozens of homes damaged.  At least on house has extensive roof damage, as a steel beam fell through the roof causing considerable structural damage to the property.

 This damage was seen again when teams were deployed to Rockingham to assist down there, with some huge trees pulling their roots causing structural damage to houses, or posing a risk to nearby properties.

Overall it was a large effort from of all of us to assist the other areas, whilst still maintaining a watch and completing jobs as received in our area.

FESA CEO Wayne Gregson thanked all emergency services personnel with a formal circular released acknowledging the hard work and efforts put in.

 

 

Above: Belmont SES Crews at work – source PerthNow

Below: Same house as above from skyview

 

 

18/9/2011 – Storm Damage Response

The Belmont / Vic Park unit responded to three calls for assistance on Sunday the 18th of September.

One was a large branch that had broken off a white gum, and fallen across a driveway, blocking the owners car in their carport. A team of 4 used chainsaws for about 2 hours to remove the debris from the driveway.

Another call was for a broken skylight. Upon inspection, the polycarbonate roofing material had become brittle over time and had cracked in places. The team used silicon to fill the cracks and placed sandbags to prevent the sheets from lifting.

The third call was for a fallen down fence.

24/5/2011 – Mini Tornado hits Canning Vale

A mini tornado hit Canning Vale on the 24th May at about 8am.  Approximately 18 homes within the area of Bengalla Street Canning Vale received damage to houses or property. Another 4 houses in the City of Gosnells also received damage. Belmont SES was amongst many units that responded to this incident.

Six houses suffered major damage from the storm including collapsed carports, patios torn from the property, partially damaged roof tops, as well as problems with power after patio sheeting got caught in power lines. Houses a few hundred metres away also experienced damage from flying debris. 36 volunteers in 6 teams contributed 300 hours to assist residents within the City of Gosnells.

State Emergency Service (SES) rescue teams from Armadale, Belmont, Canning and Kalamunda assisted the Gosnells SES unit. The SES was also supported by the City of Gosnells, Salvation Army, Western Power, FESA and the Department for Child Protection, which allowed the SES volunteers to focus on effecting temporary repairs to houses.