THE first winter storm for the season savaged a vast part of the local region as it cut a scythe of destruction through some areas on Sunday.
Residents and the city were still mopping up as another storm brewed late yesterday. And it could be weeks before the clean-up is finished.
The SES was on red-alert for the follow-up storm with volunteers waiting to combat any damage.
One of the worst hit areas was in the area stretching from Quindalup to Carbunup River.
Fallen trees and branches blocked roads and city crews worked fervently and rapidly to clear them.
Among the worst hit roads were Quindalup South Road, Chain Avenue, Wildwood Road and Vasse Yallingup Siding Road.
However, properties were also hard hit with uprooted trees and branches littering them.
Though Busselton did not feel the full brunt of the storm, where winds reached 139kmh at Cape Naturaliste, there were still pockets of damage, where houses were struck by uprooted trees and fallen branches.
Circus goers on Sunday just got out of the danger area in the nick of time, with the Circus Joseph Ashton’s big top tent collapsing in the fierce winds.
The force of the winds, combined with the weight of the tent canopy, was strong enough to bend the internal support frames so far out of shape that they no longer fit on the Ashton’s trucks.
Fortunately, no people or animals were injured in the collapse.
SES volunteer Brian Wallace said there were 13 callouts in Busselton on the weekend, mainly trees having fallen on houses and damage to tiled roofs.
“It would have been more callouts, but we were feeding the direct calls to us on to the FESA call centre,” he said.
“It is important that people don’t ring us direct, they need to call FESA on 13 25 00.”
There was also damage reported in the Dunsborough, Yallingup and Margaret River areas, but no callouts were required in those areas, Brian said.
“The severity of the storms was comparative to the Quindalup storms last year.”
Western Power said a wind gust of 139kmh was recorded at Cape Naturaliste just before 2pm on Sunday.
There was also a rise in the tide in Geographe Bay. It was around a metre above the normal high tide mark, during the afternoon.
The entire South West had been severely impacted by the weather, with more than 110,000 homes statewide still without power at 8am on Monday morning.
Brian said the local SES had sent a team to Bunbury to assist with their storm response, and said they were always ready for callouts.
“There’s no time when we are not on alert.
“We’ve been made aware of more nasty weather to come, so we’re prepared.”
City fire management officer Andy Thompson said they had about 20 major callouts, mainly for roof damage.
“We’ve just been pushing trees off roads, but have not even commenced the clean-up process,” he said.
“Our priority is maintaining access to the major roads. The clean-up process could take weeks, if not months, and that is with more bad weather to come.
“I’m working from the SES centre and coordinating incidents as they occur.
“We have all crews on standby.”
Andy said they were well prepared for last night’s predicted storm, with full crews on standby at the major hubs of both Busselton and Dunsborough.
They had also distributed sandbags around the shire to ensure areas were protected.
Busselton Police reported a quiet weekend due to the bad weather.
Sergeant Darren White said they received very few calls about damage or trouble from the storm.
“We don’t really field many storm calls here in Busselton.
“Most people who call for help call the Perth switchboard number, and they get directed to the SES from there,” Sergeant White said.