Drivers tackle epic crossing as rain floods the north

Sophia Constantine, staff reportersPilbara News
VideoBrave drivers test their skill in crossing flooded roads after heavy rain in the Pilbara.

Think your commute to work every morning is bad? Check out how they have to do it up north during the wet season.

Brett Harding captured this drone footage of floodwaters rushing over Marble Bar Road following more rain across the north.

That driver made a successful crossing. Others have not been so lucky.

A group of men found out yesterday just how dangerous such crossings can be when they were washed away while attempting to cross a closed road in the Kimberley.

The Great Northern Highway has been closed east of Fitzroy Crossing as floodwaters rise up to 80cm over the road.

Main Roads said a car-load of travellers ignored the ‘road closed’ sign on Monday afternoon and attempted to drive through the fast-flowing water.

Main Road acting regional manager Kyron Thorpe told ABC Kimberley the car was swept off the road.

“They’ve managed to get out of their vehicle and swim to higher ground, so the good news is that they are safe, but their car is well and truly underwater,” he said.

“You hear on the news stories of people dying from being washed away and it could have been the outcome in this situation. Luckily they've been able to walk away relatively unscathed.”

The men have been handed traffic fines for the ill-fated attempt.

And with more rain on the way, police are warning motorists to take care.

People in parts of East Pilbara are being warned to prepare for minor flooding and increased water levels throughout the week.

The Department of Fire and Emergency services yesterday issued a warning for people in the De Grey river catchment as well as Marble Bar and Nullagine.

Bureau of Meteorology spokesman Daniel Hayes said minor flooding at Marble Bar crossing was expected to continue through to today.

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He said weekly rainfall figures were 112 mm at Marble Bar, and if rainfall increased between 30mm and 40mm the flooding could continue throughout the week.

He said while Port Hedland might experience a shower or two over the next few days, most of the activity would come from inland parts of the Pilbara.

DFES advised people to watch for changes in water levels, stay out of rivers and floodwaters, and relocate equipment and livestock.

Laverton in the northern Goldfields also copped a huge downfall, with more than 98mm falling over the region.

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