The Gascoyne River water levels have peaked at Nine Mile Bridge. The region continues to be hit hard by rain. Flood waters have inundated roads and crops. Local farmers say should survive the extreme weather event, but the supplies of bananas next week will ride on the condition of North West Coastal Highway.
Sweeter Banana Co-operative business manager Doriana Mangili said bananas tended to do better in floods than other crops. “Some properties have had water through, but not anywhere near the levels seen in 2010,” she told thewest.com.au. “The Sweeter Banana packing shed hasn’t gone underwater, so our biggest concern is that the road to down south is opened. There will be some losses and damage, but biggest impact will be if the road down south is open to trucks early next week. We won’t know the condition of roads until water subsides.”
Retired Carnarvon banana farmer Bruce Munro, whose property is harvested by Sweeter Banana, said the town’s levee bank system which was installed after the 2010 flood had been successful in saving crops from the floods. “It’s a major event but we’re holding up pretty good,” he said. “We’re on the south side of the river and it is flowing fast. I’ve been here since the 1980’s and experienced plenty of these, this is definitely not the best but nothing compares to 2010.”
“Personally I think it’s one of the better floods, the new levee system has done very well. We copped a fair bit of wind when the system went past and a few bunches and trees have fallen over, mainly around the edges. As soon as everything dies down we’ll be straight back into cutting, most growers will be in the same situation. As long as we can get them to Perth. I don’t think there will be much interruptions to bananas if any.”
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