The clean-up continues after an extreme weather event battered the City, and the State, this week and residents are being urged to remain vigilant even though conditions have improved.
Blue Mountains City Council – working with lead agencies including Police, State Emergency Service, Rural Fire Service – has been providing much needed assistance to isolated communities in the Megalong Valley and the Mounts.
Council crews have also been working tirelessly to reopen local roads, and the majority are now open. Crews have also been working around the clock to assess trees, open space and recreation areas, as well as Council facilities that were affected in the natural disaster.
“For our isolated communities, we are still very much in the emergency response stage,” Mayor Mark Greenhill said. “We are working closely with lead agencies to ensure our residents have what they need while road infrastructure is being assessed and rebuilt. Our thanks go to these emergency services personell, who yet again, have risen to the call of our community in their time of need.
“Council has helped organise alternative waste services, food supplies and shuttle buses this week. We’re liaising with NSW Health and assisting with welfare and health needs, as they arise, as well as assisting landowners with animals.”
Temporary works commenced at Megalong Road on Thursday (26 March). Council hopes one lane can be open on Monday (29 March), but will know more over the next day or two. Even when one lane is open, the lane will be restricted to light vehicles. The weight of vehicles is yet to be determined.
Bells Line of Road, a State-managed road, continues to be closed between Mount Wilson Road and Berambing Crescent. Transport for NSW, while not running the emergency operation, have indicated that supplies for the North Richmond area and surrounds are starting to come in via the Putty Road. TfNSW also indicated that a pathway through the West Tomah road closure is currently available for emergency access only.
“For the rest of the community, we have also been asking they exercise caution and drive to the conditions,” Mayor Greenhill said. “The torrential rain and flooding has created hazardous conditions and road damage throughout the City. It’s going to take time to clean up and start fixing roads that have been damaged.
“It’s also going to take time for fallen trees to be cleared. Given the amount of rain dumped on the City, the danger of trees falling is still there. Our community needs to be vigilant, especially when visiting natural areas or parks in the City.”
Blue Mountains City, like other parts of NSW, has been declared a natural disaster area. The City experienced multiple landslips.
This follows the flooding event in February 2020, plus the summer 2021/21 bushfires and then the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Council – like other local businesses – is going to need assistance from the State and Federal Governments to help our community to recover,” Mayor Greenhill said.
“This is particularly the case as our businesses are still reeling from multiple crises.
“As we all know, recovery can be a long road, but our community is resilient.”
Go to bmcc.nsw.gov.au/flooding-2021 for more information on road closures, financial assistance and how to report issues to Council.
You can also follow Blue Mountains City Council’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/bluemountainscitycouncil for updates relating to the natural disaster.
Photo: Rural Fire Service volunteers Kim Bell (on her first day on the job) and Robert Morse (who is also a Bushfire Management Officer at Council) help deliver groceries to Megalong Valley residents.