WILUNA FOOD SHORTAGE.
SUPPLIES FROM MEEKATHARRA
Strenuous Work on Washaways.
WILUNA, April 2- Flood waters resulting from tbe severe rainstorms of last week are still rushing in torrents down West creek and through the bridge and culverts along the Wiluna-Meekatharra railway line, but the volume of water is now subsiding. The worst railway washaways were between Paroo and the stockyards, and several of a dangerous nature have been reported from the Meekatharra end of the line. At frequent intervals ballast has been washed from between the sleepers, forming in numerous small islands on the southern side of the line. Sheets of water stretch for great distances on all sides.
The railway officials are praised for the speedy manner in which efforts have been made to restore traffic to normal. The
acting district engineer (Mr. E. W. Morris) is in charge, with Acting-Inspector Miller, and gangs have been drawn from sections down to Nannine. These gangs began work at 5 a.m. on Wednesday and continued right through to 1.30 a.m. on Friday. On returning home, they came upon a washaway in their own section. Others have worked equally long hours, the local men going for 12 hours yesterday.
A bad break at the 434-mile, extending about 120 feet, necessitated technical know- ledge and the ordinary method of pigstying was not used but rails were substituted on sleepers to support the line, allowing for water channels over a short distance. Although this work was not completed and ballasted, a test was made yesterday. An 85-ton engine was sent across the line and no defect was found. The bridge and all the culverts have emerged well from a severe test. No instances of damage to them has been reported. Two rakes of large mullock are leaving the Wiluna mines daily for the scene of the washaways.
As a result of strenuous work under abnormal conditions, the line was in such condition as to allow a train to leave Meekatharra at 6.30 a.m. today and a train to leave Wiluna at 3 p.m. Wiluna was becoming short of necessities. The supply of butter was completely exhausted. About 400 tons of urgent requirements were sent by the Meekatharra train. The train crews have been called upon to work long shifts, but a cheerful desire to bring about normal conditions has been most pronounced on all sides. Mr. Morris expects that the line will be fully efficient by the end of this week.