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Bega Valley Shire CouncilBega Valley Shire Council

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Pilot channel for Back Lake

Friday June 3 2016

Bega Valley Shire Council is preparing for significant weather forecast for this weekend, laying the ground work today for Merimbula’s Back Lake to open to the sea.

Council staff and machinery are currently constructing a pilot channel that will lower the height of the entrance berm and allow it to spill out if it reaches the trigger for opening, mitigating the potential flooding impacts of forecast heavy rain.

The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting at least 150mm over the coming days along with large northerly sea swells of up to 6 metres.

Conditions that would combine to make intervention at a later date difficult and unsafe, hence Council is acting today while the conditions are still favourable.

Signage and bunting will be in place for at least 48 hours to warn the public of the deep channel that forms once the entrance is opened.

Staff will be on site to ensure onlookers maintain a safe distance, Police and SES have also been notified.

Residents and visitors are reminded that water flows from recently opened lake entrances are fast and dangerous.

Council asks members of the public to keep clear until water levels and flows are considered safer.

This includes sandbanks at the edges of the channel, as these are unstable when the water level is high.

The community is also reminded that it is a criminal offence for non-authorised people to open a lake, lagoon or river entrance. Non-authorised openings present a significant risk to public safety, local ecology and surrounding industries.

For more information contact Council on 6499 2222   

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