Tropical Cyclone Damien impacts Pilbara

Tropical Cyclone Damien. Image: Bureau of Meteorology.

Western Australia’s Pilbara ports have resumed normal activities following closures over the weekend as Tropical Cyclone Damien hit the coast.

Ports of Port Hedland, Dampier and Ashburton were cleared and closed on Friday, February 7 before the cyclone had reached the land and brought in strong winds, heavy rain and dangerous storm tides.

Tropical Cyclone Damien came to a category 3 level when it made land contact, but was reduced to a category 1 by Sunday afternoon.

The Port of Port Hedland was closed for more than 25 hours, moving into a cyclone stage four shutdown at 6pm on Friday before reopening at 12.30pm on Saturday.

The Port of Dampier also shut down at midday on Friday and reopened at 4pm on Sunday.

The Port of Ashburton, meanwhile, remained in cyclone preparation mode before recommencing normal operations at 9am on Sunday.

Heavy rains spattered the Pilbara region, with Solomon Airport, which services Fortescue Metals Group’s Solomon Hub experiencing 205 millimetres of rainfall in 24 hours.

A total of 162 millimetres of rain fell at Karratha Airport, which services Rio Tinto’s Pilbara operations.

Newman Airport, which services BHP and Roy Hill’s operations, experienced only less than five millimetres of rain as Tropical Cyclone Damien hit.

Western Australian power supplier Horizon Power said that approximately 800 customers that lived in Dampier, Wickham, Roebourne, Point Samson and Harding Dam lost power during the weekend, with most restored by Sunday evening.

“Power has been restored for the majority of our customers,” Horizon Power tweeted.

“Thanks for your support while we repaired the network after #tcdamien and to our crews for working tirelessly to get the power back on as soon as possible.”

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