The Fortescue River reached its highest recorded levels after a slow-moving tropical low system hammered parts of the Pilbara with heavy rainfall and flash flooding last month. A Department of Water and Environmental Regulation spokesperson said according to its records, the recent flow in the river was the highest recorded since the gauge was installed 44 years ago, peaking at 5.36 metres. The rogue weather reached the Pilbara after travelling through the Northern Territory and flooding parts of the Kimberley, breaking the banks of the Fortescue River and Gingianna Pool. The heavy rainfall dumped nearly 200mm in the major mining town of Newman, more than four times the average January rainfall of 45.8mm. Dozens of flights were cancelled and remote communities have been left isolated after several major roads were shut down, with parts of Marble Bar Road between Newman and Nullagine only open to high clearance 4WD’s and trucks only. Drivers are urged to exercise extreme caution while travelling along Marble Bar Road due to slippery surfaces and scour damage, with repairs currently being carried out by maintenance staff. For more information, visit www.mainroads.wa.gov.au.