A cyclist pedals through floodwaters in Ewingsdale Road near Kendall Street last week.
A cyclist pedals through floodwaters in Ewingsdale Road near Kendall Street last week.

Weather leaves a massive repair bill

Byron Council is facing a massive repair bill after last week’s near-cyclonic winds and heavy rain caused widespread damage.

Last Friday, New South Wales Premier Nathan Rees declared Byron Shire a natural disaster zone, along with neighbouring shires Tweed, Ballina, Lismore, Kyogle, Richmond

“The Byron Shire was hit with torrential rain and strong winds and this has caused significant damage throughout our communities,” the council’s general manager, Graeme Faulkner, said.

“The cost to our community will add up into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“With the shire being declared a natural disaster zone, we are now eligible to apply for additional funding to help get the community back on its feet and repair the damage.”

Mr Faulkner said staff were assessing the damage and crews worked over the weekend cleaning up the significant tree damage, monitoring water over the roads and manning pumps.

There was widespread road damage and there were reports of two landslides in the Coolamon Scenic Drive area and Mill Road, Goonengerry.

According to the council’s director of asset management services, Phil Holloway, the shire’s roads had sustained substantial damage and the cost would be significant to repair potholes, road shoulders and resurface the numerous gravel roads that have been washed away.

“The damage is spread throughout the shire including the loss of a significant amount of trees,” he said.

“We ask that people drive with caution over the next few weeks as we repair the high number of large potholes, soft edges and clean up fallen trees and debris.

“All of the shire’s bridges will also be inspected for possible damage.”

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