Severe weather update for Wednesday 16 December

The Bureau of Meteorology has reinstated a severe weather warning for the Northern Rivers and Mid North Coast catchments following flash flooding in Lismore CBD today.

“We are really pleased that conditions have generally eased, although intermittent heavy rain and flash flooding is still a risk,” Council’s Director Infrastructure Services, Phil Holloway said.

“The good news is that we’ve been able to reinstall access to Main Arm residents through Causeway 12 and 14, which is a huge relief.

“Our crews have been working tirelessly to clear debris from the causeways and make them safe for vehicles to travel over.

“We ask that drivers take caution and drive as slowly as possible at the approaches on all hinterland causeways, and especially Main Arm’s causeways 12 and 14 which have temporary road-fill in place to enable access,” Mr Holloway said.

Coastal Erosion Update

The erosion of Byron Bay beaches appears to be easing due to the easing of wave conditions and decreasing tides.

Council’s inspection of storm damage this morning Wednesday 16 December, showed no significant changes to already eroded beach conditions overnight. Erosion impact from this event is predominantly restricted to Main Beach and Clarkes Beach areas and includes impact to pedestrian and vehicle access ways with steep drop offs, exposure and dislodgement of sand bags, loss of large trees, dislodgement of rock, impact to fencing and signage, with a lot of debris strewn across the beach.

“The erosion has created steep escarpments on the beach side of some pedestrian accesses, unstable vegetation and hazardous localised conditions. We have closed some access ways, and installed barriers to avoid falls and accidents occurring,” Mr Holloway said.

Council continues to assess the beach and damages and is preparing an impact assessment from the event including collation of clean-up costs and infrastructure repairs.

“At this point, public access to the beach and safety is our priority but we ask people to stay off the dunes, avoid closed access ways, and swim only in patrolled areas. Council’s advice is that No Flags = No Swim,” he said.

Emergency Information

Byron Shire Emergency Dashboard

The Byron Shire Emergency Dashboard has direct links to the latest information from the BOM, SES, Essential Energy and other agencies. People are asked to have emergency.byron.nsw.gov.au as a bookmark as a quick and easy way to access information about weather, flooding, roads and power outages.

Some roads are flooded and will quickly be affected by further rainfall. People can access My Road Info information via Council’s Emergency Dashboard at emergency.byron.nsw.gov.au or directly at www.myroadinfo.com.au.

To report local road closures or trees and debris on roads after hours, call Council’s emergency after hours number 02 6622 7022.

For help during floods and storms – call the SES on 132 500.

People needing help during floods and storms should call the SES on 132 500.

Weather updates

The latest information from the BOM is available at www.bom.gov.au or emergency.byron.nsw.gov.au.

Emergency radio station

The Emergency broadcaster for the Byron Shire is ABC North Coast – 94.5FM or 720AM (Murwillumbah area).

The State Emergency Service (SES) advises :

* Don’t drive, ride or walk through flood water.

* Keep clear of creeks and storm drains.

* If you are trapped by flash flooding, seek refuge in the highest available place and ring 000 if you need rescue.

* Be aware that run-off from rainfall in fire affected areas may behave differently and be more rapid. It may also contain debris such as ash, soil, trees and rocks.

* After bushfires, heavy rain and the loss of foliage can make the ground soft and heavy, leading to a greater chance of landslides.

* Stay vigilant and monitor conditions. Note that the landscape may have changed following bushfires.

* For emergency help in floods and storms, ring your local SES Unit on 132 500.

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