Plight of campers trapped by floods a warning to all

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Ravensthorpe floods
Major damage ... the Jerdacuttup Bridge east of Ravensthorpe earlier this month. PIC: Supplied/Yahoo7

The plight of a group of campers trapped by floodwaters on Western Australia’s south coast should serve as a reminder to all grey nomads of how quickly conditions can change.

Some 39 people were stuck at the remote campsites of Mason and Starvation Bay east of Hopetoun for nearly a week after heavy rains cut off road access.

During their longer than expected stay at the campsites, a marine rescue boat was dispatched from Hopetoun to supply food to those stranded.

The Shire of Ravensthorpe was eventually able to open Fence Road, allowing the adventurers to leave. The deluge earlier this month caused massive damage to local infrastructure.

Shire of Ravensthorpe chief executive Ian Fitzgerald described the overall condition of the area’s unsealed roads as ‘poor’, with many major washouts.

When the rains were at their peak, a helicopter had to rescued about 15 people trapped who had been travelling in six cars, that were cut off by floodwaters between Jerramungup and Ravensthorpe.
Ravensthorpe was at one stage completely cut off and the Phillips River Bridge, on the South Coast Highway west to Albany, entirely washed away. Water had also blocked the roads east to Esperance, south to Hopetoun and north to Lake King.

  • Have you ever been ‘caught out’ by sudden flooding? Comment below.


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2 Responses to Plight of campers trapped by floods a warning to all

  1. Yes, we were one of them!! The ‘rain’ forecast was a bit worse than reported…nearly 4 days and nights….so we had little chance of getting out once the roads were cutoff. Luckily I do carry quite a bit of dry food for cooking scones, damper etc. We appreciated the food drop from rescue services as they were stretched with locals flooded in too. We just waited it out and enjoyed our surrounds….that’s Australia for you!! 🙂

  2. I was lucky. I drove all through that area on my way home to S/A ( via Esperance) in Late Jan this year. Lovely part of the country, But not so when the weather gets angry.

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