Kimberley floods: Fitzroy Crossing Bridge collapses

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Kimberley floods: Fitzroy Crossing Bridge collapses

A key lifeline connecting a remote West Australian town to the rest of the state has been smashed by a torrent of floodwaters, cutting it off from the rest of the state.

Pictures uploaded to social media by distressed locals show the extent of significant damage to the Fitzroy River Bridge, which has now partially collapsed.

The bridge, on the outskirts of Fitzroy Crossing, was inundated last week when the Fitzroy River below reached a record-high peak of 15.81m.

Main Roads WA will send in divers to assess the damage once river levels have fallen.

“That is going to take a long time to repair. So much damage,” commented one Facebook user.

“Wow you cannot beat the power of nature,” said another.

At the peak of the flooding, 60,000m3 of water flowed through the river every second, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

Meanwhile, an aerial picture has exposed the plight of animals that have managed to survive.

The image, taken near the Fitzroy Crossing in the Kimberley region, shows bails of hay being lowered to stranded cows surrounded by water.

But a great many more head of livestock have died in the disaster, the full extent of which won’t be realised for weeks and even months as floodwaters slowly recede.

While the system that caused the widespread inundation, ex-tropical cyclone Ellie, moves into the Northern Territory, communities across the Kimberley region are still dealing with the fallout.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese touched down in Broome overnight, with WA Premier Mark McGowan due to arrive on Monday ahead of the pair touring devastated communities.

They’ll be flown into Fitzroy Crossing to see the damage first hand before returning to Broome to meet with emergency services workers and volunteers who’ve been working tirelessly over the last week to keep the community safe.

As at Monday morning, flood levels are falling steadily at locations along the Fitzroy River. However, they continue to rise downstream at Pandanus Park and Willare.

The state’s Department of Fire and Emergency Services has received 54 requests for assistance since last Monday afternoon.

Around 230 people have been relocated so far, with 17 aircraft across the region assisting — including the three Defence Force planes that flew in late last week.

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