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Mar 9, 2015

15:12:04 GMT--Flood - Australia - Australia



EDIS Number: FL-20150309-47259-AUS

Date / time: 09/03/2015 15:10:44 [UTC]

Event: Flood

Area: Australia

Country: Australia

State/County: State of Western Australia

Location: [Tom Price region]

Number of Deads: N/A

Number of Injured: N/A

Number of Infected: N/A

Number of Missing: N/A

Number of Affected: N/A

Number of Evacuated: 13 person(s)

Damage level: Moderate



Description:



Thirteen people were saved from flood waters near Tom Price and Paraburdoo in back-to-back helicopter rescues on the weekend, including a family of five, boogie-boarding youths and mine workers. There was 55.8mm of rain on Saturday and 13.8mm recorded the following day at the Paraburdoo Aerodrome in what has been a torrential month for the inland Pilbara with 194.6mm falling since March 1. The first rescue happened on Saturday when Paraburdoo police and the Private Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service responded to reports of a family of five trapped by rising flood waters outside the town. A trio of children on boogie boards were also swept by flood waters onto the same island where the family was stuck. The eight were rescued by 4.30pm by the jointly funded Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton Helicopter Emergency Service, which only started last year, based out of Newman. The helicopter covers the Pilbara region, carries a medic, and is equipped with night-vision technology. Tom Price Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service Captain Chris O'Connell said no one was badly injured in the aerial rescue but there were some bruised egos and scared children. The same evening five passengers travelling in two mining contractor vehicles became stranded close to the Rio Tinto Rail Access Road near Brockman mine operations. A Rio Tinto spokeswoman said the group radioed for assistance through Rio Tinto's train control communications. Tom Price police Constable Renee Sheridan said the cars were bogged but emergency services could not reach them by land. Mr O'Connell said the vehicles were separated by about 2km and one lost radio communication but the passengers did the right thing by staying with their cars. The emergency helicopter was redeployed and the five were safe and dry by 6am Sunday. The Rio Tinto spokeswoman said all passengers were checked by Tom Price Rio Tinto emergency medical officers and were found to be uninjured. "Rio Tinto assisted local emergency response authorities to help the stranded men reach safety," she said. Mr O'Connell said it had been a busy weekend for Tom Price and Paraburdoo emergency service workers and thankfully there had been good outcomes, but he reminded residents not to muck about in flood water. "With a bit of rain people want to see what's going on," he said. "Even in Tom Price there was localised flooding near the high school and creeks overflowing. "It might make for cute pictures (playing in the water) but flash flooding does occur and you don't know when it's going to happen. "What's coming from upstream can be quite torrential and carry quite a bit of debris and can result in fatalities."




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