Homes still being flooded in tiny town of Elleker two days after the storm that left south coast reeling

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Shannon SmithAlbany Advertiser
Woodides Road in Elleker.
Camera IconWoodides Road in Elleker. Credit: Jodie Lloyd

Homes are still being flooded in the tiny town of Elleker two days after a storm left Albany and Denmark facing a lengthy clean-up.

The main roads out of Elleker — Lower Denmark Road and South Coast Highway — remain closed due to storm damage.

Jodie Lloyd, who lives in the townsite, said water levels “keep rising”.

“It’s not so much still raining, but we are all still rising,” Ms Lloyd said.

“Once the lake fills up, everyone’s water levels keep rising.

“We are about to go get our neighbours out because the water is coming into their house.

“A couple of houses have been evacuated.”

Makeshift transport in Elleker.
Camera IconMakeshift transport in Elleker.

Ms Lloyd’s children are home from school with the journey into Albany almost made impossible by floodwaters and road damage.

“My house is all right because we have four dams and they are full, but where we are building down the road, you need a boat to get there,” she said.

“With Lower Denmark Road and South Coast Highway shut we can’t get anywhere.

“People just down the road have moved their sheep — I’m not sure how they got them out with their trailer still underwater.”

State Emergency Service volunteers have been out to more than 170 storm-related jobs since Sunday evening.

Albany SES manager Robert Boyes said crews have come in from Perth and the South West to help with an enormous task.

Sheep stranded on Brook Street in Elleker.
Camera IconSheep stranded on Brook Street in Elleker. Credit: Jodie Lloyd

“We have about 46 outstanding requests for assistance and there are the still the few odd ones coming in as people discover things,” he said.

“Initially the vast bulk, 60 per cent or so, were flooding.

“As the wind came in they started to be more trees on cars and houses, roofs gone.

“In the morning on Monday we had a real spike as people opened the blinds and saw that things like the back fence had blown down.

“It wasn’t until the morning they awoke to the reality.”

Mr Boyes said he hoped to have most of the jobs resolved by tomorrow.

Elleker, however, was still badly affected.

Flooding in Cuthbert.
Camera IconFlooding in Cuthbert. Credit: Emma Hamersley.

Residents in nearby Cuthbert, Torbay and Kronkup have also reported continued flooding.

“There are still people in Elleker who haven’t been able to go anywhere,” Mr Boyes said.

“We have member in Elleker and they can’t get out, and to get to Albany would be a 115km trip.

“We had a funny one this morning — a call from someone who had 3m of water around his house and wanted us to come and get him because he had to go to work.”

Mr Boyes estimated there were 14 SES crews of five volunteers working on the calls for help.

“We encourage fatigue management so we have had to send some people home,” he said.

Lower Denmark Road.
Camera IconLower Denmark Road. Credit: Katrina Perich

“Normally we draw on places like Denmark and Mt Barker, but they have got their own jobs so we have got crews from Wagin, Manjimup and that way.”

More than 900 homes are still without power around Albany, Mt Barker and Denmark.

With a backlog of jobs on the system, no restoration times have been given for the remaining outages.

Many of the outages display the message: “repairs delayed due to wet ground conditions preventing crew access”.

Lower Denmark Road is expected to remain closed for several days.

South Coast Highway remains closed between George Street and the Denmark-Mt Barker Road.

Main Roads’ suggested detour through Mt Barker with South Coast Highway closed.
Camera IconMain Roads’ suggested detour through Mt Barker with South Coast Highway closed.

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