Soldiers from 13 Brigade and the Pilbara Regiment are assisting the Western Australia Government in Northampton after Tropical Cyclone Seroja.
CAPTION: Privates Jordan Stidworthy, left, and Jarryd Kirby remove fallen branches and debris from Northampton District High School after Tropical Cyclone Seroja. Story by Captain Zoe Griffyn. Photo by Leading Seaman Kieren Whiteley.
The small town was one of several identified as having significant debris and damage across the local community from the cyclonic winds.
Officer Commanding Pilbara Regiment 2 Squadron Major Brendan Gilbert is the Liaison Officer of Joint Task Group 629.6 that has been assigned to help coordinate the clean up.
“Facilities like the local high school or sports club are particularly important for smaller communities,” Major Gilbert said.
“We’ve been liaising with the Department of Fire and Emergency Safety in Northampton to identify these key areas for initial recovery tasks.”
Combat engineers from 13 Field Squadron have started clearing fallen debris from the local football club and Northampton District High School.
Engineer Sergeant Glen Addicot said they were focusing on clearing fallen trees and other debris.
“This is so water, gas and electricity facility operators can move in safely and get things up to speed for the school to open next week after the holidays,” Sergeant Addicot said.
Local community members have also been involved in the recovery efforts.
“As soon as we started clearing debris, members of the football club showed up and worked alongside us to help,” Sergeant Addicot said.
“Working directly with the community we’re helping is a great feeling.”.