Byron Shire Flood Recovery Update 13 May

Image of damage road in Byron hinterland

As we send this out there is some nervousness about the weather over the next couple of days.

At the time of publication, the Bureau of Meteorology issued a warning for possible minor flooding across the Northern Rivers, including the Brunswick River, Marshalls Creek and Wilsons River catchments.

If there’s one thing we all know it’s that weather systems can be very unpredictable so please keep abreast of BOM warnings and SES updates.

Council’s Emergency Dashboard has links to the BOM and the SES.

This week many of our roadworks and maintenance programs have unfortunately been hampered by the wet weather and road conditions.

Consistent rainfall on our already saturated catchment has caused further issues for our hinterland residents this week. Our crews and engineers are out assessing the most recent damage (including slips and damage to causeways) and will continue with repair works.

The SES held a preparedness meeting in Mullumbimby last Tuesday evening, and in other locations around the region, as a trough began to move into Queensland and towards NSW. If you go the Mullumbimby SES Facebook page you can watch the meeting and hear what was said.

If you know anyone who might like to receive these updates, please forward them this link to subscribe: Byron Shire Flood Recovery Update list. a

Roads

Unfortunately several of our hinterland communities are again cut off due to flooding. A lot of our temporary road works have been compromised by the heavy rainfall this week.

Much of the work planned for this week was not done because of the weather.

The initial work undertaken immediately after two floods were temporary in nature to restore access as fast as we could.

We are still working to restore the most basic of access to the Huonbrook area. It’s very difficult and technically challenging and the wet weather has not let up.

We are in an unfortunate cycle at the moment where our teams are getting hinterland roads open or partially open, they are damaged by wet weather and we have to do repairs again.

It’s making it very hard to see progress in places like Huonbrook.

While people are not seeing much happening in terms of roadwork in the hinterland because of the weather, in the background – contractors are starting work on designs for permanent fixes to the roads in places like Upper Main Arm and Federal.

Our contractors did manage to place gravel at Huonbrook, Upper Wilsons, Koonyum Range Road, Kings Road and Billinudgel Road and our most recent reports suggest this has been holding up quite well in most areas.

We appreciate local knowledge from inaccessible areas, so please report what you can to us via Report it on the front page of our website.

And we know you know but to reiterate the message from the SES – if it’s flooded forget it!

Information below is based on our most recent inspections earlier today.

Upper Wilsons Creek

The causeway 1 at Upper Wilsons Creek is now impassable.

From yesterday our staff were no longer able to access Upper Wilsons Creek due to causeway flooding.

Causeway 6 has a large hole in it on the upstream side and is extremely dangerous. Do not attempt to cross this area. We will repair this when the conditions ease.

Huonbrook

Extreme caution needs to be taken at Huonbrook 1 with falling rocks reported earlier this week. The area is being monitored.

We are aware of the large holes in the road near Lillium Café and this area has been barricaded off – we won’t have equipment available to send to this area until early next week.

Work on the turning circle at the start of the goat track was cancelled because of the rain. The plan is to get this done next week.

Main Arm Valley

In the Main Arm valley, a number of causeways are inundated and impassable…again.

Please take a safety-first approach before trying to leave or enter the Main Arm valley in these conditions.

Koonyum Range Road

We’ve got a road seal planned for Koonyum Range Road but need good conditions to get this underway. The work will extend around 2.7kms of damaged road.

Federal

Grading work has begun on Kings Road to help traffic flow while geotechnical investigations continue at the landslide site.

Mullumbimby

Our maintenance operations crew will start work around Stuart Street next week, particularly focusing on the road edges that were impacted during the flood event. Be sure to move your cars and allow access for our crews to get in and get the work done quickly.

Drains

Work has continued cleaning and vacuuming out the drainage network, including some open drain clearing work this week. Our crews are focusing on priority areas for general maintenance.

Share your flood story by 15 May

We are putting together a submission for the NSW Flood Inquiry and invite community members to share their recent flood stories and experiences via the Your Say Byron Shire website: www.yoursaybyronshire.com.au/floodinquiry

We’ll be gathering stories until 15 May 2022 so that we can make Byron Shire Council’s submission to the inquiry by 20 May.

NSW Flood Inquiry

Council strongly encourages members of our community to also make individual submissions to the NSW Flood Inquiry. Submissions are open for the 2022 NSW Flood Inquiry until Friday 20 May.

/Public Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s).View in full here.