Fierce winds hampered Western Power crews working hard during Monday’s mega storm to restore power to the Margaret River region. The utility said more than 28,000 homes were without power during the storm’s peak, mostly caused by multiple incidents of debris hitting network infrastructure. While about 18,000 properties had the power back by Monday night, dangerous conditions meant some repairs were delayed. The storm began at 2pm on Sunday and raged throughout the night, recording more than 63mm of rainfall in Capes districts. “The slow movement of the storm and the associated winds, that exceeded 120km/h in parts of the South West, created a high number of hazards due to windborne debris, such as tree branches and roofing material, hitting the network,” a spokesman said. “In some instances, power lines and pole-top equipment were damaged, which directly led to the large volume of hazards that continued ... for the duration of the storm, keeping our emergency response crews very busy.” Some repairs needed cranes and elevated platforms, which were not safe to operate in powerful gusts, Western Power said. Power to the last 900 homes was restored by Tuesday night. Telecommunications networks were also affected. The Gnarabup boat ramp was closed after it was damaged, while sections of fencing along local beaches also came down. The Department of Biodivers-ity, Conservation and Attraction confirmed the Canal Rocks bridge was also wiped out during torrential rain and storm surge. “Once surf conditions ease, DBCA will undertake a thorough assessment of Canal Rocks bridge to evaluate the damage,” a spokesperson said. “DBCA is committed to repairing the bridge and will do so when conditions are safe enough for works to take place. The site will remain closed until further notice.” Numerous trees came down and fences were damaged across the region. Cape Leeuwin recorded the highest wind gusts at 135km/h and sections of the Augusta foreshore flooded. Margaret River’s State Emergency Service thanked residents for thorough preparations. “Our crews were kept busy for over 24 hours in planning and responding,” the service said. “We completed 10 requests for assistance and are all now enjoying a well-earned rest.” Other residents were not asJU prepared, with bin owners criticised on social media for bins scattered during the storm. Warren-Blackwood MLA Terry Redman said the vulnerability of the region’s communications and power supply had to be resolved.