Byron council warns of major road damage

FALLEN: A fallen tree temporarily blocked Bangalow Road this morning near the corner of Old Bangalow Road.
FALLEN: A fallen tree temporarily blocked Bangalow Road this morning near the corner of Old Bangalow Road. Christian Morrow

BYRON Shire Council is expecting significant damage to its road and bridge network from the recent wet weather and flood damage.

Council's director of infrastructure services, Phil Holloway, said staff will be assessing flood damage over the coming days.

"Road closures and water is making areas hard to access and until the weather improves and the water drops, it will be hard to get a clear picture.

"However, with almost 500 millimetres rain and flooding in Billinudgel, South Golden Beach, Ocean Shores, New Brighton and Mullumbimby we can expect a level of damage in towns and the rural areas.

"Plus, we will need the water levels in the river to drop so we can clear debris at bridges and assess for damage.

"With another 24 hours of strong winds and water-logged ground, we are also expecting trees to continue to come down over the weekend,” Mr Holloway said.

Staff are on roster to assist the SES and continue with inspections and cleanup over the weekend and into next week.

Known road damage currently includes two uphill-side landslips on Coolamon Scenic Drive; debris has been cleared and traffic control has been put in place.

Extra pothole crews will be deployed next week and priority will be placed on the large and potential dangerous sites. The crews will then return and repair the smaller potholes.

All Byron Shire beaches are currently closed. All sporting fields are closed and will be inspected again on Monday.

Waste collection services continued today and will continue over the weekend to areas that could not be accessed. Residents are asked to leave their bin out if they are able to.

At this stage access to the Myocum Resource Recovery is limited due to roads being cut, green waste (trees, branches, stumps and shrubs) can be dropped at the landill, at no cost, for a period of two weeks.

Whilst still awaiting natural disaster declaration from the state government, Mr Holloway said he was anticipating this would happen.

He also thanked the first responder crews of NSW SES, the rural fire brigades, emergency services, hospitals, volunteers and council workers.

"The cleanup for the region will be significant over the coming weeks and we ask for residents to please be patient whilst we attend to areas with the highest needs first,” said Mr Holloway.

Due to power outages in Mullumbimby, Byron Shire Council was also forced to close its administration office. We are aiming to be back open on Monday.

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