Esperance storm damage

Wild weather has seen Esperance nearly reach the average monthly rainfall for August before the end of the first week of the month.

Large sections of the Greater Sports Ground carpark were essentially turned into off-road tracks, pot holes on Goldfields Road became worse than usual and coastal erosion continued.

Esperance Bureau of Meteorology officer in charge Cliff Spencer said from the start of August till around 3:00pm on August 6, Esperance received 74.6 millimetres of rainfall.

This means Esperance is nearly at the average monthly rainfall for August, which is 83 millimetres.

“There has been a couple of very active fronts that saw us with good south westerly to southerly air flow,” Mr Spencer said.

“Once you get a good south westerly air flow that’s when you get more showers behind the front to support the initial rainfall that fell on the frontal passage.”

Esperance Shire chief executive officer Matthew Scott said after consistent and heavy rainfall over Saturday night on August 4 and the following Sunday morning, the shire received phone calls that saw staff install traffic management and signage to warn drivers of potholes and water across roads.

Mr Scott said roads were the shire’s highest priority at the moment.

“Shire road crews will address the priority areas first, essentially this will be the bigger potholes in high traffic areas,” he said.

“The majority of all potholes will be temporarily filled in today to ensure a safe road for our community. 

“This work will be achieved while minimising the impact on road users. 

“We would like to thank the community for reporting damage as soon as possible and we can reassure everyone that staff are working hard to fix the damage quickly.

Mr Scott addressed the erosion to sections of the Greater Sports Ground, stating the grounds had a master development plan that would see the commencement of construction of the new Indoor Sports Stadium after the 2018 Esperance and Districts Agricultural Show.

“The are no plans to bituminise the gravel roads within the grounds at this stage,” he said.

Mr Scott said coastal erosion was a natural occurrence.

“With high swells like we are currently experiencing, beaches change shape as nature takes the lead in their design,” he said.

“The erection of the rock wall along the Esplanade has provided strong protection to the assets that are behind this area.

“The sand renourishment program that is in place further along near Goldfields Road is to prevent erosion reaching further back and impacting on infrastructure behind it (roads, Norfolk Pines and businesses).

“There has been some erosion all along the coast and the areas where we can implement strategies to minimise the impact we will do so.”

Esperance resident Gaby Lancaster said she was walking her dog along the beach opposite the Pier Hotel on Sunday, August 5 when she saw how the tide had damaged a section of the beach wall along the Esperance Foreshore.

“Our weather has brought the tide up and over the beach wall. Taken out some tiles in its efforts. Bottom steps to the beach and the ramp are not to be seen,” her post on the Esperance Community Page said.