On Sunday 11 April, Tropical Cyclone Seroja made landfall on Western Australia’s mid-west coastline, impacting three Bush Heritage reserves: Eurardy, Hamelin and Charles Darwin.
It’s with relief that I am able to report that our people are safe and, thus far, there has been no significant damage to habitat or infrastructure reported. Many others in the region have not been so lucky and our thoughts are with them as they begin to recover and rebuild.
Eurardy Reserve is located close to Kalbarri, where Seroja made landfall as a category three storm.
So far, we have not been able to access Eurardy due to road closures, however our reserve managers Ben and Tina based in Kalbarri during the cyclone, left it well-prepared and secured, so we are hopeful it has fared well.
We’ll update you as soon as we can get in there.
Our Hamelin Outback Station Stay accommodation at Hamelin Station, near Shark Bay on the Coral Coast, closed its doors to guests last Thursday and remains closed for the time being. We expect to be able to reopen its doors later this week but will await government advice on safe travel before doing so.
Our Hamelin and Charles Darwin reserves both received about 34mm of welcome rain – a good follow-up to the higher-than-average summer rainfall we’ve seen this year. The cooler autumn and winter temperatures that both reserves are moving into should mean that moisture stays in the ground longer, and the land will no doubt respond with a flourish of life.
Already, our Charles Darwin Reserve Manager Jessica Stingemore is reporting hearing Wheatbelt and Shoemaker frogs out calling in full force.
Preparation is key for these extreme weather events, and our staff did an amazing job over the days leading up to TC Seroja: tying down or relocating loose materials, securing doors and windows, relocating guests and visitors on our reserves in good time, supporting their local communities, and enacting other elements of their Cyclone Preparedness Plans.
It’s through a combination of their hard work, good luck, and steady maintenance of our infrastructure over the years that our reserves have come out of this in such a good position.