Clean-up well underway as massive repair jobs starts

Tweed Shire Council

The full extent of the biggest flood ever recorded on the Tweed is emerging, as Council staff and other agencies finally gain access to isolated pockets of the Shire.

The flood impacted more areas of the Tweed than ever before – from urban areas around Tweed Heads and Banora Point in the north, down through coastal villages to Wooyung in the south and out to communities at Uki and Byrrill Creek on the Shire’s western border.

Tragically, the disaster resulted in the loss of 2 lives, including a member of the Byrrill Creek community and a Wooyung resident who lost his life in floodwaters at Currumbin Valley, Queensland.

Mayor of Tweed Shire Chris Cherry extended her condolences to family and friends of the deceased.

“On behalf of everyone in the Tweed, I would like to extend my sincere condolences to the loved ones of those that have passed away during this terrible tragedy,” she said.

“Our thoughts are with everyone in our community at this time.

“We are no strangers to floods but the enormity of this event has left us all shocked. But the resilience and generosity shown by the community – often by strangers to strangers – is inspiring. I couldn’t be more proud to be Mayor of the Tweed at a time like this.”

Thousands of Tweed residences and commercial properties were inundated in the flood, with assessors having completed more than 2,440 rapid impact assessments so far. They will remain on the ground as more properties are able to be safely accessed. This information will be fed through to all levels of government to inform the make-up of assistance packages.

Council services update

Council staff are working around the clock to restore essential services and assist in the massive clean-up, with the focus now turning to the repair of damaged infrastructure. The flood has resulted in significant damage to Council’s roads, water supply, wastewater system, buildings, equipment and parks, with damages expected to top the $45 million cost to Council of the 2017 flood.

Roads

Road crews are expected to restore emergency access to all isolated communities via the public roads network by Sunday (13 March), with some remote residents and communities still cut off.

Damage to the road network is extremely significant, particularly in western parts of the Shire and along Kyogle Road, which copped the brunt of the deluge. Several significant landslides – including at Tyalgum Road, Scenic Drive and Reserve Creek Road – have caused significant damage to the road network and will take many months to repair. Geotechnical assessments of these slips are underway, with specialist engineers on the ground.

Engineers have begun the process of logging and prioritising road repairs, with more than 700 items logged so far. This is expected to exceed the 1,600 repairs required after the 2017 flood.

Waste

A massive clean-up operation is underway, with approximately 1,000 tonnes of discarded flood waste delivered to the Stotts Resource Recovery Centre (the tip) each day this week, and this is expected to increase in the days ahead. At this rate, the first phase of the clean-up could take up to 3 weeks to complete, with Council competing against neighbouring regions for the services of haulage trucks. Some relief has come from the City of Gold Coast which has loaned 7 trucks to assist in the Tweed’s clean-up process.

Water

All reticulated water is now deemed safe to drink across the Shire, including at Uki where a boil water alert was lifted today following extensive testing with NSW Health. Council is working hard to repair the damage at the Uki Water Treatment plant and Uki residents will remain on water restrictions, with water being tankered in until this is completed.

Waste water services

Waste water services have also been restored to all communities across the Shire, including at Tumbulgum where a vacuum sewer system is in place. Temporary bypass arrangements have been put in place in some areas, including at Terranora, where landslips on both private and public land have impacted the mains network.

Council buildings and infrastructure

More than 60 Council buildings were severely impacted by the flood, while a further 20 buildings suffered minor to moderate damage. Council’s insurers are currently assessing the damage.

Parks, playgrounds and sports fields

Many of Council’s parks, playgrounds and sports grounds were also impacted by the flood. Due to health concerns, these parks were closed after the flood. Priority is being given to clean and restore these facilities, particularly in areas of the Tweed worst hit by the flood.

Daily updates on the Tweed’s flood recovery are published on Council’s webpage and through social media channels including Facebook. Visit the Tweed Emergency Dashboard

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