Reef plan as storms pound coast, homes

James and Charlotte Ashton-Grant check out the neighbour’s house, which lost its entire roof. Photo by Steve Grant

COCKBURN council has received $274,000 in state funding to protect CY O’Connor Beach as southern suburbs’ beaches and homes were hammered by storms this last week.

Hamilton Hill was one of the hardest-hit suburbs in last Friday’s storm, which also left businesses along South Fremantle’s main shopping strip with water flowing in their front doors.

Notre Dame uni had a veritable waterfall down the stairs of one of its buildings in the West End when the port city copped around 40mm of rain in just one hour.

Coolbellup resident April Ashton made a quick dash to the shops during a lull in the squalls, only to discover a live power line had been ripped from a neighbouring house in Caliban Way.

She called Western Power which came to secure the site, then discovered the situation was even more dramatic.

“The whole roof of the house had been ripped off,” Ms Ashton said.

“It was leaning up against the next door’s fence, which was falling over.”

Ms Ashton said Western Power’s emergency crew asked her to call police to block off traffic given the danger the live cable presented.

“When I called them, they asked ‘is it a quiet road? We’re really busy,” she said.

The house appeared to have been vacant.

High tides saw beaches swamped, with CY O’Connor beach virtually disappearing and erosion at Port Beach sneaking around the edges of the sea wall built by Fremantle council last summer.

As part of its plans to protect CY O’Connor Beach, Cockburn council is planning to build a 100-metre artificial reef about 50 metres offshore.

A $59,000 geotech/sand wall will also be built on dunes adjacent to the reef to act as an erosion “backstop” to protect the barbecues and toilets at the beach’s park during rare violent storms.

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