Wednesday 8 June 2016
In the wake of the weekend’s storms and floods, Bega Valley Shire Council has shifted into clear-up mode.
General Manager Leanne Barnes said there was some major damage still being assessed including the Towamba Bridge, the Tathra Wharf and the Quarantine Bay pontoon.
“We estimate the cost of repairing and replacing damaged infrastructure to be well in excess of $2million.
“This covers items such as bridges, marine infrastructure, roads, culverts, recreation facilities and buildings.
“Initial estimates are being compiled but we still have limited access to some assets. A full estimate will not be known until we complete the assessment work.
“Staff are currently focussed on getting assets operational and doing this work. This initial assessment enables us to apply for disaster funding from the NSW Government and this process is already taking place.
“Many of the road closures have been lifted and regular updates are being posted on Bega Valley Shire Council’s Facebook page, and as always we ask all residents to drive to the conditions as there is still water over the road in some places.
“Damage to our rural roads is being assessed and repair work will be scheduled according to the severity of the damage.”
Ms Barnes said a Water Boil Water Notice for communities serviced by the Brogo River water supply catchment was still in place and this precautionary measure will be in place until water turbidity returns to acceptable levels.
“People travelling in the Towamba area have also been advised not to use the Towamba Bridge which sustained significant damage in the flood waters.
“We understand this is a difficult situation for people living in the area and we are in the process of gathering more information and working towards making the bridge operational again.
“Beach goers should be cautious of major erosion which has left large sandbanks on many beaches which can be very dangerous to children.
“The presence of sea foam in many areas can mask hidden debris and changed conditions, and there will still be strong currents around river mouths, so please be careful,” Ms Barnes said.
Sports grounds were closed over the weekend and are being monitored in the lead up to this long weekend. Information on the grounds will be posted on Council’s Facebook page in coming days.
Ms Barnes thanked everyone who worked throughout the weekend to make life safer for the community.
“As ever, community volunteers stepped in to do whatever was needed and, as a community, we are very grateful,” she said.
“I also thank the many Council staff who carried out a wide range of tasks before, during and after the weekend. These include works teams, town teams, lake opening staff, water and sewer teams, communications and contact centre staff, and the people who staffed the emergency operations centre around the clock. Council also acknowledged, at its meeting on Wednesday, the work done by volunteers, the SES, Police from NSW and Victoria and Council staff. ”
Photograph: Storm surge damage and foam at Pambula Beach