WA braces for dangerous weather

Last updated 01:05 13/06/2012

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Dangerous weather heading for Western Australia's South West region is expected to hit a bigger area than previously thought, emergency services warn.

Fierce winds up to 125km/h were expected tonight for a large area south of Geraldton in the Mid West region, out to Laverton in the east, right down to the south-west tip of the state.

The worst conditions are expected to commence late afternoon or early evening in the Augusta/Margaret River area, reaching the Perth metropolitan area later in the evening.

Damaging winds are likely to develop overnight and extend to Kalgoorlie in the Goldfields by early Wednesday morning and through to Eucla, near the South Australian border, by midday WST on Wednesday.

While there have been no reports of injuries resulting from other wild weather in the region on Thursday and Sunday, a 52-year-old man died on Monday night after falling through the roof of a building while trying to repair a storm-damaged garage in Furnissdale, south of Mandurah.

Police are investigating the death.

They urged people to be mindful of damage when attempting property repairs and to call the State Emergency Service on 132 500 for help with homes that had sustained severe damage.

Fire and Emergency Services Authority (FESA) of WA spokesman Allen Gale called for assistance from off-duty career firefighters in the metropolitan area to help deal with the storm and clean-up through to Thursday night.

About 45 schools in Perth, the South West and Wheatbelt stayed closed on Tuesday due to damage or disruption from the storm on Sunday.

Other schools let students leave early in anticipation of the coming severe weather.

Department of Education director general Sharyn O'Neill said schools would not open on Wednesday if they had experienced storm damage or were without power or water.

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