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2022 Floods

Byron Shire Flood Recovery Update – Thursday 3 March

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THE NSW NORTHERN RIVERS TIMES NEWSPAPER

Byron Shire Flood Recovery Update – Thursday 3 March

The clean up and recovery phase across the Shire continues and we have many hard days ahead.

On behalf of Council, it is a heartfelt thank you to the emergency responders, volunteers, family, friends and neighbours who are helping out. Your energy and generosity is greatly appreciated and welcomed in this time of crisis.

Our community will experience enormous shock for many more days and Council is working tirelessly to restore services and ask for additional NSW and Australian Government assistance.

Residents are asked to continue to listen to the ABC radio for updates and monitor Byron Shire Council’s Emergency Dashboard.

Unfortunately, Council communication services continue to be impacted – we are working with our service providers get this back up and running as soon as possible.

Mullum Farmers Markets

The wonderful Mullum Farmers Markets will be at the Mullumbimby Council building car park on Friday morning, 4 March, from 6am.

There will be about 10 stalls with fresh produce only.

With food supplies hard to source, this is a great service.

Many thanks to our local producers who are helping out.

Roads

Byron Shire Council is anticipating an infrastructure damage repair bill of up to a hundred million dollars.

Council’s Infrastructure Services Director Phil Holloway said staff inspections were grim and it will take months for some communities to have full access returned.

“Some of the roads in the hinterland have been totally destroyed.

“The already wet landscapes and extreme rainfall volumes have caused damage that we have not experienced before.

“We are seeing hundreds of meters of road simply washed away, gaping holes where causeways and bridges used to be and landslips covering roads.

“Requests for support from the ADF and NSW Public Works have been submitted, but with severe damage throughout the Northern Rivers, their resources will be stretched.

“Damage reports are being collated and will be submitted to the NSW Government for funding support,” he said.

Catastrophic road infrastructure impacts have occurred in the following areas:

Englishes Bridges at Upper Coopers Creek has a huge landslip, and the bridge is gone. Currently impassable and not accessible.

Wilson Creek Road, Wilsons Creek has multiples land slips, causeway failures, pavement damage and trees down. Currently impassable and not accessible.

Left Bank Road, Mullumbimby Creek – two landslips, two causeways failed and one approach severely damaged. Currently impassable and not accessible.

Williams Bridge at Main Arm is severely damaged and needs a full replacement. Two causeways are severely damaged and require full replacement including approaches. There are likely more damaged causeways further up the road.

Palmwoods and Upper Main Arm – large land slips have destroyed access. Hundreds of meters of roads have been washed away.

At Federal and Goonengerry there are numerous landslips.

Mr Holloway warned that the list of damaged roads would be extensive over the coming days.

“It is currently beyond Council’s capacity to restore the road network within near future and like our neighouring areas, we are seeking help from local contractors.

“Unfortunately, we are anticipating in some areas road closures will be in place for weeks if not months.

“Council will advise residents and impacted communities as soon as we can have more information. With no communications, destroyed roads and stretched staff, this is proving challenging.

“Please be assured we are working around the clock to get to as many people and places as we can,” Mr Holloway said.

People travelling or commuting should check My Road Info before they head out.

And please no sightseeing; the roads are needed for emergency workers, service crews and accessing essential items such as food, water, medical supplies and fuel.

Extreme caution must be used when travelling in the Shire. For information on road closures go to the map on the front page of our emergency dashboard.

To report road damage, use the Report It tab on our website.

Water restrictions – Mullumbimby critical shortage

The water main break at Mullumbimby was fixed today.

Crews are working tonight (weather permitting) to continue filling Azalea Reservoir. The Water treatment plant in Mullumbimby is working and we are starting to feel more positive. Airlocks are being worked on by the crew now.

Water tankers have also been used today to top up the water supply and will return tomorrow.

Please continue to use water sparingly and only for essential purposes of drinking, cooking and showers. Delay using your hose for cleaning up – every drop counts to help us replenish the water supply.

Water from the tap does not need to be boiled.

Bottle water continues to be available at the Mullumbimby Civic Hall.

Rous County Council also asks the community to be mindful of their water use during the current flood disaster and where possible, reduce their water consumption .

Kerbside pick-up

Contract crews organised by Byron Shire Council arrived in Mullumbimby yesterday (Wednesday 2 March) and started clearing flood-damaged waste from the kerbs.

These crews are continuing to work through Mullumbimby and also moved in to some parts of Brunswick Heads this afternoon.

They continue to move through other parts of the Shire with the schedule currently:
Mullumbimby – started 2 March
Azalea Street will be done early Monday morning (7 March). Residents are asked not to park along the road Monday morning so the rubbish can be picked up quickly and safely. Traffic management will be in place.
Brunswick Heads – Monday 6, Tuesday 7 and Wednesday 8 March
Billinudgel and The Pocket – Wednesday 9 March onwards
North Ocean Shores (Low lying areas) – Wednesday 9 March onwards
New Brighton- Wednesday 9 March onwards
South Golden Beach – Thursday 10 March, Friday 11 March and into following week.

To help us please:
Do not put hazardous waste (e.g. chemical drums, paint, asbestos) out on kerbside because they won’t be collected.
Tyres are not flood waste and won’t be collected.
White goods like fridges and large metal items should be separated and they will collected separately and recycled. Take the food out of the fridge please.
Rotting waste should be put in red bins – not on kerbside with bulk waste.
If possible – park cars off road so clean ups can occur safely and quickly.
Skip bins
NSW Public Works staff are now working with Council and the plan is to set up some skip bins at Ocean Shores at the northern end of Orana Road (salad bowl) and the northern end of Shara Boulevard.
We are still working through the logistics of this and will let you know when we know more.

Donations
Please – think before you give
Our Communities are renowned for being generous. It’s in our nature to do what we can to help. But we are asking the community to donate responsibly.

Please do not donate unrequested items.

We need to ensure local organisations aren’t inundated with donations they do not need and cannot store.

Local Emergency Management Committees are liaising with State Government agencies to ensure that the critical and immediate needs of communities are met.

Donations can be dropped to the Mullumbimby Civic Hall and they will assist with getting them to where they are needed. They are open from 8.30am to 8.30pm, including the weekend. Items currently needed include:
Cleaning items – mops, broom, buckets, hard scrubbing brushes and shovels.
Wet weather gear – raincoats, gumboots
Antiseptic, band aids and bandages
Food – nonperishables
Gas bottles – filled and not out of date
Lighting – candles, torches
NO BEDDING IS REQUIRED
NO CLOTHING IS REQUIRED – except for wet weather clothing gear.

Please consider:

Managing the disposal of unneeded goods by organisations takes time, resources and costs. Unsolicited donations often end up warehoused or in landfill, making clean-up operations more difficult and costly for communities.

The best way to support this important work is to check with reputable charities about what they are being asked to provide.

Established organisations, like GIVIT, are working with government agencies and local communities to manage offers of donated items, services and funds for people impacted by floods across parts of NSW. This will ensure a coordinated approach to helping people in need, without burdening local volunteer organisations.

Key donation links:
https://www.givit.org.au/storms-and-flooding
https://www.redcross.org.au/floodsappeal/
https://donate.vinnies.org.au/appeals-nsw/vinnies-nsw-flood-appeal
https://www.salvationarmy.org.au/donate/make-a-donation/donate-online/?appeal=2022floodappealhp

Thank you to everyone for your support during these challenging times.

Please stay safe and drive carefully when on the roads.

Evacuation Centre
The Ocean Shores Country Club remains the evacuation centre for Byron Shire.

Connecting with loved ones
The Red Cross is managing a register to help people connect with loved ones who may have been impacted during this event.

Disaster funding
The Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP) of $1,000 per eligible adult and $400 per eligible child is available for people impacted by a flood event.

The AGDRP is a one-off, non-means tested payment and is available to eligible people in the Byron Shire who have suffered a significant loss, including a severely damaged or destroyed home or serious injury.

The Disaster Recovery Allowance (DRA) is also available.

The DRA helps employees, small business people and farmers who have lost income as a result of the floods.

The allowance provides for a maximum of 13 weeks payment from the date people have, or will lose, income as a result of the disaster.

The DRA is set at the maximum equivalent rate of the Jobseeker payment or Youth Allowance.

How to claim
Claims for the AGDRP and the DRA are open from 2pm today, 1 March 2022.
· Call Services Australia on 180 22 66.
· Via the myGov website.
· Go to the Services Australia website

Water height
While devastatingly fresh in our minds, impacted residents are being asked to measure and record the water height and save photos.

Council will be seeking this data in coming weeks to measure impacts and improve flood mapping and to support our claim for disaster recovery funding.

Sandhills childcare centre
The centre will remained closed for the remainder of the week until debris can be removed.

Council offices
The Byron Shire Council administration building will be closed until the end of the week and staff have also been personally impacted.

Council has been impacted by the major network outages and as a result our phone system and internet service continues to be down.

Communication services with phone and internet are limited. We are working hard to return to full services by Monday.

Our after hours service is available to take limited calls on 02 6622 7022.

We have skeleton staff available to access our remote systems and can be contact via email council@byron.nsw.gov.au

For all emergencies and life threatening situations please contact the SES 132 500 or 000.

People can also report road damage etc on the Report It tab on our website.

2022 Floods

Byron Shire Flood Update – 1:00pm Wednesday 30 March 

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NSW Northern Rivers Breaking News

Byron Shire Flood Update – 1:00pm Wednesday 30 March 

 

Residents and businesses in many parts of the Byron Shire, especially Byron Bay and Suffolk Park, have been affected by flooding with heavy rainfall across the region overnight.  

Rainfall figures released by the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) show Coopers Shoot recorded 319mm of rain to 9am this morning (30 March 2022) with 282mm at Byron Bay. 

A severe weather warning for heavy rainfall and thunderstorms remains in place. 

Moderate flooding is also possible along the Brunswick River at Mullumbimby and along the Marshalls Creek at Billinudgel early this afternoon.  

All available Council staff are at work, although many have also been impacted by the rain and flooding.   

For links to all the latest information from the SES, BoM and Council go to our Emergency Dashboard. 

Our Facebook page has loads of information as well. 

Roads 

 

At 11:30 am, we have 37 reported road closures and a significant number of flood cautions issued across our network in Byron Shire. 

The M1 is closed southbound at Tyagarah. 

Significant flash flooding has been experienced in the Byron town centre and industrial estate. 

The flash flooding experienced in Lawson, Jonson Street and surrounds has been unprecedented. Traffic controls have been in place since early this morning.  

Shirley Street is closed at Kendall Street and Ewingsdale Road is closed near Belongil Bridge at Sunrise Boulevard, police are on the scene. 

We also have a landslip reported at Broken Head Road near the Coast Road and emergency services have been on site this morning. There is another landslip reported at Bangalow Road that remains inaccessible to emergency services. 

Suffolk Park experienced significant flash flooding overnight, a number of roads remain cut off here. 

New Brighton Road is closed near the intersection of Redgate Road. 

The majority of our major hinterland roads remain cut off and inaccessible, with crews unable to further inspect the damage in these areas. We have been advised by locals a new landslip has occurred at Wilsons Creek Road. We will provide updates on this when they come to hand. 

We’ve received reports of a number of trees down, blocking roads across our network, many in areas we are still unable to access. 

Evacuation Centres

 

The Cavanbah Centre Byron Bay was opened as an Evacuation Centre this morning by the lead agencies (Department of Communities and Justice and Northern Rivers NSW SES). 
 
We are aware getting to the Cav is a challenge at the moment because of road closures. Check MyRoadInfo to see what roads are open and closed.  

Water and Sewer

 

All available staff are working on the water and sewer network across the Shire. 

Any urgent problems with water, sewer and drainage should be reported to our Depot staff on 02 6685 9300. 

Non-urgent problems can be reported via Report It on our website. 

Drinking water and water for household use 

There is currently no problem with water supply in the Byron Shire and the water is safe to drink and for household use.  

Our water treatment plant at Mullumbimby is still off-line but we have enough water reserved and we have also turned on the emergency connection to the Rous County Council water supply. 

There are no water restrictions but we do ask that people use water sparingly until the flood water recedes and operations return to normal. 

Sewer 

Heavy rain yesterday and overnight is continuing to have an impact on our sewer system and our network is under pressure from the large amount of water flowing into pump stations around the Shire. 

Staff are doing all they can but they can’t get to some sites because of flooding.  Once the rain stops and water subsides we will get to all the affected areas. 

Stormwater 

Everyone should stay out of stormwater.  This is the water in the streets and coming up through the drains. 

Stormwater is dirty and often contaminated with sewer run-off and other substances that are harmful to our health.  

For more information about the danger of stormwater go to the NSW Health website. 

Waste 

Due to the severe weather and issues with access, Byron Resource Recovery Centre, the tip, is closed today. 

Kerbside bins will be collected on your normal bin collection day. There may be some delay to collections if access has been limited due to road closure and flooding. 

Flooding through Byron township has resulted in multiple vehicles getting inundated and large quantities of floating rubbish. This area will be a primary focus for our crews clean-up once water levels drop.

  

Areas that we have not been able to collect are: 

·        Byron Industrial Estate 

·        Skinners Shoot Road  

·        Shirley Lane   

 

Flood recovery clean-up is on hold. 

 

Visit Flood clean up and waste for more information. 

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2022 Floods

Severe Weather Conditions in Ballina Shire – Avoid Unnecessary Travel

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NSW Northern Rivers Breaking News

Severe Weather Conditions in Ballina Shire – Avoid Unnecessary Travel

 

UPDATE 12.30PM WEDNESDAY 30 MARCH 2022

 

The Lennox Head Cultural Centre is open today as an evacuation centre for anyone seeking shelter from the severe weather and flash flooding.

 

Please only travel to the centre if it is safe to do so. If you are currently safe in your home, it is still the best option to stay where you are and stay off the roads if possible.

 

For emergency help in floods and storms call the SES on 132 500.

 

ROADS AND FERRY UPDATE

Residents are strongly urged to avoid travel today.

 

The Pacific Highway is closed from Wardell to Tintenbar, between Coolgardie Road and Tamarind Drive. This means the Cumbalum Interchange remains closed as well as the Interchange at West Ballina. River Street in West Ballina is also currently closed due to floodwaters.

 

The Burns Point Ferry remains CLOSED until further notice.

 

Due to access and safety restrictions Ballina Shire Council staff cannot inspect and signpost all urban roads. As soon as it is safe to do so our crews will complete inspections and Council will post updates to www.livetraffic.com. Please be aware of changing conditions in your local area.

 

SANDBAGS AVAILABLE

Anyone needing to collect sandbags should lodge a request with SES by calling 132 500.

 

COUNCIL SERVICES

The Recovery Centre at the Ballina Surf Club remains closed today due to the severe weather. The Recovery Centre will reopen as soon as it is safe to do so. Flood-impacted residents can still access support by calling the Service NSW hotline on 13 77 88.

 

Minimise water use

If you hear your toilet gurgling, it is expected during the extreme weather we are currently experiencing.

The current high rainfall and tidal impacts are putting extreme pressure on our pump stations and wastewater network.

Council crews are doing all they can to clear the excess backlog but they’re up against it in the current conditions.

To assist us please minimise your water use such as bathing/showering, washing and toilet flushing.

If residents experience problems with sewage entering their home please contact Council on 1300 864 444.

 

Bin collection

Council’s Resource Recovery Team will be unable to complete collections today, Wednesday 30 March due to flooding.

Missed collections are expected to be rescheduled for Saturday 2 April 2022. Where safe to do so, residents can leave their bins out for recollection.

 

Missing bins
If you are in need of a bin replacement, please log a request via the Community Portal on ballina.nsw.gov.au/CommunityPortal or call 1300 864 444 for our team to log your request.

 

Waste Management Centre Closed

The Waste Management Centre on Southern Cross Drive is closed today due to staff not being able to access the site. It will reopen tomorrow if it is safe to do so.

 

Ballina Byron Gateway Airport

Commercial flights have been cancelled today and access roads are flooded. Passengers should not to travel to the airport today and should contact their airline directly for flight information.

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2022 Floods

Flood assistance available

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THE NSW NORTHERN RIVERS TIMES NEWSPAPER

Flood assistance available

Flood affected businesses can now find quick access to support information through a dedicated web portal on the Australian Government’s Businesswebsite.

Financial Assistance

Financial assistance available through Service NSW
The NSW Government is administering direct financial assistance to flood affected businesses and individuals.

Through the Service NSW floods portal the following assistance is now available for those impacted by the floods:

Individuals

  • A Disaster Relief Grant – to assist low income earners faced with disaster hardship who have suffered damage to the structure or contents of their home.
  • Personal and financial counselling.
  • Assistance finding temporary housing for those who have been forced from their homes.

Small business, primary production and not-for profit organisation support

  • Small business recovery grants up to $50,000 for businesses that have suffered direct damage
  • Primary producer recovery grants up to $75,000 for producers that have suffered direct damage
  • Small business and primary producers concessional loans of up to $130,000
  • Concessional interest rate loans for not-for-profits
  • Freight subsidies of up to 50 per cent for primary producers

Councils

  • Assistance with operational costs and the restoration of essential public assets.

More information is available here

Use the NSW Disaster Assistance Finder to find assistance available to you.

Australian Government payments

Services Australia is on the ground in Recovery Centres and as a mobile unit around the region to support affected community members to access disaster support.

  • Disaster Recovery Payment – $1,000 per eligible adult and $400 per eligible child if your home has been severely damaged or destroyed, or you’ve been seriously injured.
  • Disaster Recovery Allowance – short-term income assistance (up to 13 weeks) if you’ve lost income as a direct result of the floods.

Flood recovery assistance for creatives

Arts Northern Rivers have announced direct payments of $1,000 to directly assist flood affected individual creatives in the Northern Rivers region. Learn more

Commonwealth Bank grants for community organisations

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia is accepting applications for flood grants from community organisations to assist with clean up, rebuilding and recovery. Learn more

Support on the ground

Recovery Centres are operating in locations across the Northern Rivers, providing access to services including:

  • Resilience NSW
  • Red Cross
  • Service NSW
  • Communities and Justice (DCJ) – Housing
  • Services Australia (Centrelink)
  • Salvation Army

Locations and shuttle bus information is available here

Distribution Centres are open in Ballina and Lismore.

The Ballina Distribution Hub is now located on Gallans Road, Ballina, at the old Thursday Plantation café site. It is open from 10am – 2pm 7 days a week.

Lismore distribution centres are at the showgrounds, distributing clothes, food, pet and baby supplies from Lifeline and Thread Together and 51 Whyralla Road, East Lismore distributing food, cleaning supplies and medicine.

Local business events and fundraising to support flood recovery

Northern Rivers Food member fundraiser
An opportunity to reconnect with local food industry community in a ‘BBQ in the Court’ 5:15 to 7:15pm Wednesday 30 March at Barrio, Porter Street, Byron Industrial Estate

Byron Bay Chamber of Commerce small business lunch and flood relief fundraiser
Business building through resilience and wellbeing. Funds raised will be donated to flood relief – 5:30 to 8:30pm, Thursday 31 March 2020 at the Byron Bay Golf Club

Rebuild, recharge and renew your business post pandemic and flood – Ballina Business Chamber
Ballina Business Chamber are holding a NSW Small Business Month event covering essential recovery info for the local business community. 5 to 7:30pm at the Ballina RSL on Thursday 31 March 2022. Bookings are essential.

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