Towns near an interstate border are feeling the impacts of ongoing flooding, with angry locals taking to social media to vent their frustrations over a lack of food supplies.
Pictures posted to Facebook and Twitter show supermarket shelves bare in the Western Australian border town of Kununurra, cut off from the rest of the nation thanks to flooding in the neighbouring Northern Territory, as well as flooding to the west, which is causing headaches on a major arterial road.
The Victoria Highway to the east has been closed due to flooding, while the Great Northern Highway to the southwest is open, but drivers are being urged to take extreme caution, with water over the road for large sections of the Kimberley motorway.
It means local supermarkets Coles and IGA Tuckerbox have been battling with shortages and panic buying, leaving locals less than impressed.
When you coming to the Kimberley next @MarkMcGowanMP?? Maybe bring yourself a packed lunch coz there’s bugger all on our supermarket shelves….hasn’t been for days, weeks! Sort it out please! pic.twitter.com/n88dcsOQuw
— Mandy (@Wonderwoman1967) February 26, 2023
Social media users have been complaining about weeks of food shortages in the top end due to flooding. Picture: Twitter / @Appit15‘If you’re not in the shops by 11am, good luck.’ Picture: Twitter / @Appit15
The local IGA store is keeping people updated via its Facebook page.
“Another of our trucks has just arrived and the staff will be busy unpacking,” they posted on February 28.
“Please give us a couple of hours to unload and then we will have plenty of fruit and vege available!
“There will be plenty for everyone! Please be thoughtful of others and only buy what you need!”
They made similar posts on February 21 and 27.
The supermarkets are now in talks with WA’s Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) to discuss resupply options.
Main Roads travel map showing Kununurra cut off due to road closures over the border in the Northern Territory. Only select vehicles can use the Great Northern Highway to the southwest.
Flooding across the border in the NT has also devastated towns and small communities, with hundreds of evacuations near Katherine taking place late last week.
Flood waters have also washed away a 200m section of railroad, north of Tennant Creek, effectively cutting off Darwin from Adelaide rail freight.
Supply by road back in WA also continues to be affected by damage to the Great Northern Highway at Fitzroy Crossing due to record flooding in early January.
Kununurra SES has already had to save a number of people stuck in flood waters.
Trucks have since been going through South Australia and the NT to restock towns like Kununurra, but that option too has been cut off thanks to the NT flooding.
DFES allowed nine trucks to pass before the border crossing was shut, with no idea on when that route will reopen.
“DFES has deployed a district officer to Darwin to work closely with Roads NT and our emergency services counterparts,” said a DFES spokesperson.
“That will allow us to closely monitor the road conditions.
Tour group Kimberley Dreaming shared this image of the Ivanhoe Crossing, near Kununurra, inundated by flood waters.
“Alternative options via air or sea are being considered by DFES to ensure food and other essentials continue to reach the communities in the East Kimberley.
“The community can be reassured there is no need to panic buy supplies.”
Coles has been contacted for comment.