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2022 Floods

Byron Shire Flood Recovery Update – Thursday 10 March 2022

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THE NSW NORTHERN RIVERS TIMES NEWSPAPER

Byron Shire Flood Recovery Update – Thursday 10 March 2022

There’s no quick recovery from a flood like we experienced last week and the hard work continues for our community.

Council’s teams are working flat out on getting road access to places like Wilsons Creek, Main Arm, Huonbrook and Wanganui and the Australian Defence Force is working with us to get this happening which is terrific news.

In particular we are asking that only essential traffic travel on Wilsons Creek Road tomorrow and across the weekend. We are preparing the road so we can get the excavators and trucks up there on Monday.

Collection of flood-damaged waste continues. It’s a slow process but we’re making good and visible progress.

While we still ask that residents use the additional skip bins that have been provided around the shire for flood waste where possible, the good news is that the Resource Recovery Centre at Myocum will be open this Saturday and Sunday from 8:30am – 11:30am.

Large trucks will still be in operation at the tip, so we ask for your patience and to exercise caution when moving amongst heavy vehicles. Proof of address is required if claiming flood waste.

A REMINDER that the Mullumbimby Farmers Market is not on this week (Friday 11 March).

Mullumbimby Recovery Centre

If you, or anyone you know, has been impacted by the floods, please go and find out about the range of services and help available to you at Resilience NSW’s dedicated Flood Recovery Centre at the Mullumbimby Civic Hall in Dalley Street.

Face-to-face support is available from a range of different agencies and the centre is open 7 days from 8.30am until 5pm.

You might feel that you don’t need these services because there a lot of people worse off than you.

We are hearing that many people feel this way. But the Mullumbimby Recovery Centre is there for everyone, and it really is worth going and having a chat in this safe and welcoming space. Please use all the great help and services now on offer.

Waste and Clean-up Information and Schedule

A reminder to keep cars off the streets as much as possible, or the trucks can’t pick up your waste.
Please put small items and any food waste in your wheelie bins to make the clean-up process quicker. Wheelie bins are getting collected as per normal unless access is restricted.
We encourage residents to continue using the additional skip bins for flood waste. There are bins located at:
“Salad Bowl” – Brunswick Valley Way / North end of Orana Rd Ocean Shores
Mullumbimby netball courts carpark – Byron St Mullumbimby
Kohinur Hall – Upper Main Arm
Palmwoods Rd – at junction of Main Arm Rd, Upper main arm Rd and Palmwoods Rd
Left Bank Rd Mullumbimby – approximately 760 Left Bank Rd
A sixth location at Upper Wilsons Creek will be added once access safe access is established. We’re hoping this will be early next week.

Remember that asbestos needs to be dealt with by a licensed contractor. Photos and advice on what asbestos might look like can be found at Around the home | Asbestos (nsw.gov.au)

Clean Up Crews

Kerbside clean up crews are scheduled to come through the following areas Thursday, Friday and Monday:
Mullumbimby (north and south of Argyle St, Nightcap Crt, Cassia Crt, Rush Crt, Left Bank Rd)
New Brighton (North Head Rd, Pacific St, New Brighton Rd)
South Golden Beach (beginning with Beech and Gloria Streets)
Ocean Shores (northern end Orana Rd and areas around Waterlilly Park)
North Ocean Shores
While most contractors will take a break over the weekend, some will continue if possible and may be assisted by the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

Roads and bridges

Council crews are continuing to work hard on solutions to restore access to several of our flood-impacted hinterland communities.

Wilsons Creek

Please avoid travel on Wilsons Creek Road tomorrow. Essential traffic only.

Council will be joined by Australian Defence Force crews and will be preparing Wilsons Creek Road for excavator and truck access on Monday.

Work will continue over the weekend so that we can get machines to a large washed-out area which is preventing access further up the valley.

Main Arm and Williams Bridge

We kicked off work to restore access at Williams Bridge yesterday and it’s full steam ahead today, despite the rain. We’re hoping to have these bridge works completed in the next few weeks.

Huonbrook and Huonbrook Valley

We’re working with ADF teams to clear the road into Huonbrook which has been impacted by significant landslides.

Survey control points are being established for slips at Huonbrook and Federal to monitor any potential ongoing movement.

Geotechnical test-drilling will start at Huonbrook next week and Council will secure drilling services to move on to Federal and other slips systematically.

Upper Coopers Creek – Englishes bridge

We’re making good progress on Englishes bridge too! Our plan is to establish a temporary crossing first, to provide safe access for the community. Then we’ll be replacing the current bridge. You’ll see our crews and contractors on the ground next week working on the temporary crossing.

Report It, Report It, Report It

Thank you to everyone who has been able to report road damage via the Report It tab on Council’s website.

Every piece of information has made a big difference. Please continue reporting any road damage you see – be as specific a as possible. Pin-point the locality or provide a street address, and send a photo if you can.

Please remember that smaller-scale damage reports will be lower down the repair priority list than those posing significant safety and access issues, so will take longer for the crews to get to.

Please avoid sight-seeing as it has been hampering operations.

People should continue to be careful driving around the Shire and check Live Traffic or the map on Council’s emergency dashboard.

Locating plans and information for flood-impacted properties

If you need to find plans and information for insurance purposes for flood impacted buildings or structures on your property, there are two options available:

Buildings approved from 2018 onwards
If the building or structure was approved and constructed from 2018 onwards, the information may be available online on Council’s Application Tracker.

Select ‘Search’ from the menu and enter the property details.

If you need assistance contact Council’s Development Support Officers 02 6626 7025.

If there is no information on the Application Tracker, refer to Option 2 to make an application to access informal information.

Buildings approved before 2018
If the building or structure was approved and constructed before 2018, apply to Council to access informal information.

Accessing Council information

If you need assistance contact Council’s Records Officers on 02 6626 7000.

Food businesses

Food businesses need to be aware that any food, food surfaces and cooking utensils that have come into contact with floodwater might be contaminated.

Use only drinking-quality (potable) water for activities on food premises such as washing up or rinsing.

Do not salvage canned food for resale.

Ensure that discarded food cannot be collected by member of the public.

Cleaning and sanitising food utensils, food contact surfaces and other surfaces

If your business or home has been flooded, or you’re helping others with the clean-up, here are some helpful tips:

Carefully check dishes, pots, pans, cutlery and kitchen equipment that may have been in contact with floodwater.
Throw away damaged or cracked items made from porous material such as wood, plastic or rubber including wooden chopping boards as they cannot be adequately cleaned and sanitised.
Wash utensils and surfaces in hot, soapy, drinking quality water. Take apart and clean the non-electrical pieces of any kitchen equipment that can be safely taken apart and rinse in hot water.
Sanitise silverware, metal utensils, pots, plans and kitchen equipment in pieces by placing into boiling water for 10 mins.
Sanitise dishes, glass, porcelain, china and enamel ware by placing in sanitising solution for 10 mins. You can make this yourself:
Add 25ml of 4% non-fragranced household chlorine bleach to 5 litres of cold water.
Rinse with drinking-quality water.
To clean cupboards and counters:
Wipe down with hot soapy water
Sanitise with a 200ppm chlorine bleach solution (before storing dishes or food).
Finally, it is best to air dry all the items you’re cleaning (in case towels have been splashed with contaminated water).

Find out more from the NSW Food Authority website.

Contact Council’s Environmental Health Officers on 6626 7107 for further information.

Health Tips

Go to Council’s website for important information on:

  • mould
  • rainwater tanks
  • septic systems
  • swimming pools
  • mosquitoes and increased danger after floods
  • Water quality on beaches, creeks and swimming holes

Domestic Animals

We are aware that many animals have been displaced because of the flood event.Council’s pound is currently full. If you need temporary accommodation for your companion animal(s) you can contact Council for providers that may be able to assist.

Cavanbah Centre

The Cavanbah Centre is operating as usual from 8am – 6pm, 7 days per week. It is also offering hot showers to people who have been out assisting with recovery operations.

Open Spaces and Playgrounds

Playgrounds should be avoided until safety checks have been completed over this week.

Bangalow Sportsfields, and the Bob Bellear Sportsfields in Ocean Shores, have reopened.

Grants and Government Financial Assistance

For the Australian Government Disaster Relief Payment and the Disaster Recovery Payment and to find out what you are eligible for:

Call Services Australia on 180 22 66.
Services Australia website
myGov website.
Service NSW website (including Storm and flood assistance for businesses | Service NSW)

Council Services

Because some staff have been impacted by the floods our Customer Service Centre at the Mullumbimby office is operating at reduced hours this week.

  • The Customer Service Centre is open from 12pm – 4pm daily.
  • Staff are available on the phone from 8:30am – 4:30pm
  • Email council@byron.nsw.gov.au
  • Report non-urgent requests online using Report It
  • For after-hours emergencies call 02 6622 7022

There are also Council staff available at the Flood Recovery Centre at the Civic Hall in Mullumbimby.

For the latest information on Council services go to our website (www.byron.nsw.gov.au) or our Facebook page.

Byron Shire’s Emergency Dashboard also has links to the SES, BOM and road closure information.

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2022 Floods

Diary of a Flood Survivor

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Diary of a Flood Survivor Woodburn Service Station

Diary of a Flood Survivor

 

I feel like we must have been one of the first cars to get petrol at the newly-reopened service station at Woodburn.

They did not have their ATM lines up so were only taking cash.

As I walked into the shop, I could smell the newness of the plastic and products as I went to pay for the tank’s worth.

AND the price was the lowest I have seen in a long while.

No doubt, once the ATM lines are up and if they keep the same price, it will be a popular spot.

It makes the town feel like it is back on the road to healing.

Now we just need to see our IGA open and we will be all grown up again.

I recently went to the funeral of the wife of a friend.

It was a very poignant moment to see him reach out and gently touch the coffin next to where he sat in the church during the requiem mass.

Her children read out her own words that she had written about her life and it was interesting to note she was born in the middle of a flood in 1928.

From there, she remembered as a young wife and mother the devastation of 1954’s flood.

When we first arrived on the Northern Rivers, the 1954 flood was spoken about in hushed tones or a type of reverence at the enormity of it.

Without taking away from the devastation that happened during that flood, as many more people lost their lives, I don’t think I have the same awe for it as I once did, now having experienced the aftermath of the 2022 flood.

Little steps.

 

For more 2022 floods news, click here.

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2022 Floods

Two years on Annette has her keepsakes returned

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Matchbook Collection.

Two years on Annette has her keepsakes returned

 

By Samantha Elley

Most people who experienced the loss of personal items in the 2022 flood have come to terms with the fact they will never see them again.

Annette Dale of East Wardell was no different.

Her jar of matchbooks that she had been collecting since her twenties was a hobby of hers for forty years.

“My ex-husband and I would travel about to restaurants and nightclubs and I used to collect their matchbooks,” she said.

“I managed to salvage them in the first flood and put them in a shed, but then the second flood actually took my water tank.”

The second flood also took her collection of matchbooks, still in their jar.

“I hadn’t thought about them until half way through last year,” said Annette.

Fast forward to 2024 and Annette’s daughter Katelin was scrolling on her social media when she saw a post where a staff member from the Ramada in Ballina was looking for the owner of a jar of matchbooks.

“Spotted floating along the river during the floods. Ramada staff fished this jar out of the water. We would love to return this item to its owner.”

This was the sign on the jar.

Matchbook Collection.

Matchbook Collection.

“(Katelin) rang me and said ‘Mum, I have something of yours you lost in the floods’,” said Annette.

“I started crying and she filmed me when I got it back.”

That video was posted on the Wardell CORE Community Organised Resilience Effort page and Annette has been overwhelmed with all the positive comments and good wishes.

“To have my glass jar float all the way from East Wardell to the Ramada is amazing,” she said.

Annette said the flood waters didn’t affect Wardell until March 1 and she thought she was safe on a mound.

However, when she woke up that morning she realised she was on an island and needed rescuing.

“I got rescued on a jet ski by two (very handsome) men,” she said.

“It was a terrifying experience, it was a leap of faith and I prayed the whole time.”

For the next six months Annette lived with her daughter and son-in-law in Tuckombil until the house was in a decent state to move back into.

Having her long lost collection of match books back has lifted her spirits no end and she visited the Ramada last Friday to meet the staff who saved her keepsakes.

“I am totally grateful to the Ramada staff,” she said.

 

For more 2022 floods news, click here.

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2022 Floods

RC of Ballina-on-Richmond Temporary Home Project

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RC of Ballina-on-Richmond Temporary Home Project

RC of Ballina-on-Richmond Temporary Home Project

 

January 2023 the Rotary Club of Ballina-on-Richmond embarked on the biggest projects it has ever undertaken in its 38 years; The Temporary Housing Project which supplies small homes on people’s properties where their homes are unliveable due to the devastating floods of 2022.

A recovery team from the Rotary Club comprising Col Lee Flood Recovery coordinator, marketing and finance, Donella Kinnish  Project manager and Paul Sleeth builder was set up. The team is involved in all the interviews, site inspections and the building program.

RC of Ballina-on-Richmond Temporary Home Project

Temporary Home Project Kitchen

The criteria is: the applicant must have had their home flood affected and unliveable. They must have running water, a working toilet of some sort and some form of electricity which are State Government requirements.

The homes come as a flat pack and open out when raised. They are positioned  on footings concreted into the ground and elevated around 110-150ml off the ground to allow adequate air flow under the temporary house to limit mould. They are built in China, have all the electrics and ADR compliance carried out in Australia before the are transported to the site for erection.

They come with full security bars on the windows, LED lighting, multiple power points and 15 amp circuit breaker and wiring. The erection of the homes takes around 20 minutes after the crane truck positions the home on the footings . Once secured in place they are fitted out with a kitchenette, gas hot water service, fire alarm, microwave and fridge. Some also have showers added externally.

RC of Ballina-on-Richmond Temporary Home Project

Temporary Home Project

The project has supplied homes in all local LGAs with the latest 5 x homes going into Nimbin due to landslides . In all 36 homes have been supplied with a further two to be erected in Nimbin when the access to the properties dries out. Once completed it will be a $630,000 project providing a warm, secure and solid temporary home for up to five years.

A great advantage with this product is that once the recipients have repaired or replaced their original home to a liveable standard , the temporary home can be easily dismantled, transported and reused on another site where a natural disaster has occurred. Not going into landfill which is often the case for other temporary homes.

 

For more 2022 floods news, click here.

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