DAMAGING: The east coast low ripped across our region.
DAMAGING: The east coast low ripped across our region.

Coffs Council weathers aftermath week after storm

A WEEK after the east coast low, Coffs Harbour City Council is continuing its clean-up effort around the Coffs Coast.

The council's director of sustainable infrastructure, Mick Raby, said crews were about 60% of the way through a long list of clean-up jobs as of yesterday.

About 100 trees fell across the region during the storm event, Mr Raby said.

Half of those trees are said to have fallen in natural surrounds while the other half caused damage to infrastructure such as powerlines and houses.

Mr Raby said the damage was "very unlikely" to exceed the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangement threshold of $240,000.

He estimated the final damage bill would be in the vicinity of $150,000.

Mr Raby said surprisingly, the storm did not leave the region too battered and bruised.

"Damages are remarkably light considering the event," Mr Raby said.

"No bridge damage was identified primarily because river and creek heights did not reach the bridge deck levels.

"Coastal zone damage is minimal and all boat ramps and beach accesses are open.

"There is a considerable amount of green debris (trees and related material) which is being cleaned up as the crews carry out their normal work routines."

The council' installation of the telemetry system around the city gives accurate real-time data during any rainfall event.

Based on the town water gauges data in previous years, Mr Raby said data had helped the SES to develop a suite of "flood cards" for various areas across the city as a guide to what would happen in certain rainfall patterns.

For example, Mr Raby said, once the rainfall intensity in the Coffs Creek catchment exceeds 100mm in any three-hour period, it is very likely surrounding areas get inundated.

"That (the data) assists them to predict quite accurately, during the event, what areas will be affected and to some extent, when they will be affected. They also have pre-prepared evacuation plans for the most likely areas," he said.

The evacuation plans includes the Department of Family and Community Services, which manages the evacuation centre.

Coffs Harbour City Council's Coastal Works responded to the following jobs during the storm:

  • Lowanna Rd - Tree in wires over road
  • Lowanna Rd - Tree over road made safe.
  • Molten Rd - tree over and cleared
  • Main Road 120 - trees down on Little Nymboida Bridge, cleared
  • Cassidys Rd - tree blocking access and cleared
  • Bucca Rd - multiple trees over and cleared
  • Brewers Rd - tree down and cleared
  • Coldwater Creek Rd - trees down and cleared
  • Ferretts Rd - trees down and cleared
  • James Small Dr - tree on wires. Essential Energy attended.
  • Middle Boambee Rd - tree down on car. Power line tangled in tree, women trapped in vehicle. Coastal Works first on site. Ambulance, fire brigade, police attended. Tree lifted off car and occupant released after two hours. Essential Energy still working on permanent power restoration, Coastal Works to do final clean up.
  • Macauleys Headland - tree down on power lines. Essential Energy called to attend.
  • Hogbin Dr Nth - tree over Bangalor Bridge both lanes closed. Tree removed, cleared 10.45pm. Final clear up occured Friday, August 5.
  • Hogbin Dr - a further six trees down and cleared.
  • Ocean Parade Viaduct - under rail bridge flooded and car driven into flood water. Viaduct closed, car retrieved
  • Finlays Rd - Tree on road involving power lines
  • Donn Patterson (near Griffith Ave) tree across the road
  • Upper Orara Rd - multiple tree over road (one near Dairyville Rd, another near Karangi Public School)
  • James Small Dr (north entry) - Tree on road
  • Cnr Seamist Pl and Firman Dr - Tree on road
  • 3 North Island Loop Rd - two medium trees on road
  • Korora Basin Rd (2km from highway just before Hardy Close)
  • 22 - 26 Old Coast Rd Tree threatening road (caught in another tree)