Karratha..lending a helping hand in times of need


01 April 2011

Bankwest’s Barry Harwood kindly volunteered to help the SES in Karratha with the cleanup in the aftermath of Cyclone Carlos and the tornado which hit the area on February 20th.

It’s very unusual but not unheard of for mini tornados to be associated with tropical cyclones and the destruction was shocking. Barry flew up north on a chartered flight and, once in Karratha, hit the ground running, working to assist in damage cleanup. The worst damaged area was Padbury Way, in the suburb of Bulgarra.

“Upon arrival the devastation was over whelming. These properties are built to withstand a cyclone and there were houses with entire roofs missing. Roofs that had been buckled and bent like foil. Trees lay scattered through the streets and gardens as did belongings and pieces of property. We slowly progressed house to house assisting the residents and clearing the debris. The work was hard and made harder with relative humidity of 94%,” said Barry.

Volunteers were fed and accommodated in one of Rio Tinto’s mine camps. Several team members also assisted in a land search. Barry claims he took away valuable lessons about the generosity and resilience of the great people of the Pilbara.

“I learnt a lot of the people of Karratha and their great spirit and toughness, I learnt that the mosquitoes are tougher! The landscape is awe inspiring and the climate is an experience. I wish all those impacted by the devastating tornado return to normality as soon as possible and my thoughts are with them.,” said Barry.

For more information: http://www.abc.net.au/local/audio/2011/02/24/3148216.htm?site=northwestwa

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