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Tropical Cyclone Ilsa leaves Pilbara station owners picking up the pieces

Clean-up efforts have begun on Warrawagine Station after the passage of the storm. (Supplied: Lux Lethbridge)

Pastoralists in Western Australia's Pilbara region are picking up the pieces after Ex Tropical Cyclone Ilsa left a trail of "total destruction and devastation" in its path.

The category five system delivered record-breaking sustained wind speeds as it tracked towards the coast before making landfall between De Grey and Pardoo Roadhouse in the early hours of Friday morning,

At Pardoo Station, manager Scott Fraser was still surveying the damage on Monday morning.

"It's a bit overwhelming, I suppose, when you initially see the damage," he said.

Ilsa's centre and eye, including its most destructive winds, passed directly over the station from west to east.

"The trees are facing right to left, but when you get to the other side, they're facing left to right," Mr Fraser said.

"At the main station, there's only two buildings that are untouched, the rest are gone or have rooves off them.

Mr Fraser's truck was blown over at Pardoo Roadhouse. (ABC News: Cason Ho)

"We've got 20-foot (6-metre) containers that have been thrown 25m."

The station's centre pivot irrigation systems were also hit hard.

"Four lost sections or [are] broken, the other 15 are flat," Mr Fraser said.

"Wheels in the air, broken into sections; annihilated — it's flipped them clean over."

But he said plenty of offers of assistance were flooding in, including from local mining companies.

"The community have been unbelievable," Mr Fraser said.

The cyclone left significant damage at Warrawagine Station in the Pilbara. (Supplied: Lux Lethbridge)

'Nothing left standing'

Lux and Belinda Lethbridge manage Warrawagine Station, 225 kilometres east of Port Hedland, and also suffered significant damage.

Mr Lethbridge said almost all of the station's windmills, solar panels and water points were destroyed by the system.

"In the path of the cyclone there is just nothing as far as man-made infrastructure — [there was] nothing left standing," he said.

The couple also manages Wallal Downs Station at Eighty Mile Beach, about 300km south of Broome, which was predicted to bear the brunt of the category five winds, but escaped relatively unscathed.

There's going to be an extended clean-up period at Warrawagine Station following the passage of Tropical Cyclone Ilsa. (Supplied: Lux Lethbridge)

"We were preparing for seven days before at Wallal Downs because it was on the frontline," Mr Lethbridge said.

"We spent a week here [at Warrawagine] putting heavy stuff away, but nothing can prepare you for that sort of wind.

"When the authorities turned up, they said this was totally unexpected that the wind and category rating was still as intense this far inland."

Mr Lethbridge said the clean up was only just beginning, and given the remoteness of the property and extent of the damage, the task would be a "big logistical process".

"Cutting trees up and carting iron away that's what's easy," he said.

"[We need] local government to try and get roads done to get access … we've got to get trucks in here, we can't get gear in here.

"We don't have accommodation left here for my staff … it's all gone."

Rain from Cyclone Ilsa could help refresh and rejuvenate the landscape, despite the significant damage costs. (ABC News: Cason Ho)

Mr Lethbridge said mustering had already started, but would now be delayed by several weeks.

"We've got so much fence just blown down … and because a lot of the rivers and creeks all ran very high, a lot of flood damage," he said.

"We just have to keep going — we have to manage our cattle because they're our bread and butter, we have to keep going."

Luckier escape for some

While pastoralists are still counting the costs of the damage left behind by the system, the late season rainfall has been a welcome upside.

Mark Bettini owns and manages De Grey Station, about 100km north of Port Hedland.

De Grey Station Manger Mark Bettini said they had escaped the worst of the damage. (ABC News: Cason Ho)

His property "dodged a bullet" when the system left little damage and plenty of late season rainfall.

"Up until this it was a light season, I mean it wasn't a failure … but we'd only probably had about 200 millimetres and our average is about 340mm here," he said.

"Having this rain, this 70mm here, and I think probably more like 100 to 150mm close to Pardoo, it's a huge relief."

Mr Bettini said the excess feed resulting from the significant cyclonic rainfall would set up the rest of the season well.

"The cattle were in good nick anyway, but now they can just keep going you know," he said.

"Hopefully we'll have fat cattle that will weigh well to sell."

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