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2022 Floods

Byron Shire Flood Recovery Update – Wednesday 2 March

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NSW Northern Rivers Breaking News

Byron Shire Flood Recovery Update – Wednesday 2 March

Whilst the severe weather has eased, we are now in the clean up and recovery phase across the Shire. We have many hard days ahead.

We appreciate that many in our community will be experiencing enormous shock and heartbreak at this time.

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

Roads
The biggest emergency response concern is the Upper Main Arm and Upper Wilsons Creek areas. Last night the ADF were able to airlift some people out from Upper Wilsons Creek.

Additional support from the ADF has been requested to assist with our severely impacted communities.

Council staff have continued to inspect roads and assess damage.

Infrastructure Services Director Phil Holloway said due to the extensive damage in many areas, it was unknown at this stage how long the assessments would take to complete.

“It is devasting and when combined with the damage throughout Northern NSW, Councils have an enormous job ahead of restoring communities, roads and access.

“Staff have been out clearing and repairing roads to restore access where we can, but in some cases, we are only managing to get about 500 metres into a road before we come across extreme damage. This is especially the case in the hinterland with failed causeways and landslips,” he said.

Council has also requested help from NSW Public Works.

Residents and visitors should continue to limit their vehicle movement and check My Road Info for closed roads and cautions. Do not travel through flood waters.

Englishes Bridge has been washed away and there is severe damage to many causeways and landslips.

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

Due to damage to the Mullumbimby water treatment plant, the Mullumbimby potable water supply is CRITICALLY LOW and should only be used for essential purposes. Please use sparingly.

Water from Mullumbimby taps is safe to consume. Bottled water will be available at the Mullumbimby Civic Centre – please take only what you need.

As frustrating as it will be, please delay using your hose to clean up – drinking water is our top priority. Water should not currently be used for cleaning up.
Only flush your toilet when necessary. Take short showers.
If the levels drop further, the Mullumbimby water supply may need to be turned off to allow it to replenish. If this was to occur, the water would be turned off west from the Federation Bridge to the showgrounds. Council will advise if this is to occur.

In other parts of the Shire people are asked to use water sparingly.

Rous County Council is asking the community to be mindful of their water use during the current flood disaster and where possible, reduce their water consumption during this time.

This advice applies to properties connected to mains water in the areas of Lismore, Ballina, Byron Bay (excluding Mullumbimby) and areas east of and including Coraki in the Richmond Valley Shire.

This request follows high turbidity levels within Rocky Creek Dam that have reduced the capacity of Nightcap Water Treatment Plant to produce water.

Council Services
The Byron Shire Council administration building is likely to be closed until the end of the week and staff have also been personally impacted.

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

Clean up
Our resource recovery team is working to source contractor trucks to pick up and collect flood waste today. The Resource Recovery Centre at Myocum remains closed.

Garbage services to rural areas are cancelled until roads are clear. Services in urban areas are continuing as normal. If bins are not collected on the normal day, they will be emptied as soon as possible. Please continue to sort your waste so we can recover recycling and organics

“We are working to source more contractors and crews for the mammoth clean-up effort that is required for our Shire.

“If we can visit affected towns sooner, we will,” Director of Infrastructure Services Phil Holloway said.

The bulk flood waste pick up operation will continue in Mullumbimby tomorrow (Thursday 3 March) and throughout the town centre (weather permitting).

Clean up in other towns will start on Monday as follows:
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
If we can get there sooner, we will.

To help our bulk flood waste collection operation run smoothly, we ask residents to:
Place only flood damaged items on the kerbside for collection (only in areas listed above to be serviced).
Please ensure anything you want to keep, or you are drying out, is easily distinguishable from bulk flood waste piles.
Keep streets and laneways clear.
Move cars onto your driveways, if possible, to allow access for our trucks.
Where possible put your bulk waste on our main streets.
Please do not put asbestos in with your bulky waste; this is a danger for the public and staff.

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.

Donations
The council’s Community Services team is working with the local Resilience Network to provide support and ensure a coordinated approach to donations and offers of support across the Shire.

Rather than giving items that may not be needed, in the first instance please check the list on the GIVIT page, ‘What is needed’. Byron Shire has specific items listed by community organisations. You can sponsor these items and they will be distributed to Byron Shire residents affected by the floods, through trusted community service organisations and neighbourhood centres.

You can also donate money to state wide flood appeals:
Donate at GIVIT Appeals | Flood Appeal | Donate To Help People Recovering From Floods in QLD And NSW | Donate Money Or Items
Click on ‘Donate Funds to NSW Recovery’
Donate at Qld and NSW Floods Appeal | Australian Red Cross

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

Council offices
The Mullumbimby Customer Service office is closed until later this week.

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

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.

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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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