Trevor Veale

Byron’s $1.1m storm damage bill

THE storm that battered the Northern Rivers late last week and into the weekend did about $1.1 million in damage to council infrastructure across the Byron Shire.

Byron Shire Council community infrastructure executive manager Phil Holloway said that was the figure council staff were including in a report to the NSW Government on the expected cost of restoration works, including tree removal, drainage works, and the cost of repairing damaged roads.

The extensive damage meant residents still waiting for their green waste pick-up after ex-tropical cyclone Oswald were going to have to wait even longer.

The damage to some roads had been significant. Two roads fell victim to landslips during the storm and one of those, Possum Shoot Road, remained closed.

"Traffic controllers are in place assisting local traffic and the landslip will require a geotechnical inspection to find out the extent of the damage," he said.

Mr Holloway said, between Friday afternoon and Sunday night, council staff received more than 150 calls for help from residents needing help with issues such as fallen trees, problems with drains, and with landslips.

The beaches at Brunswick Heads, New Brighton and South Golden Beach had suffered badly during the storm and some now had a three-metre drop from the access path to the beach.

Access to those beaches had been closed, but there was concern some residents had been ignoring or even moving warning signs.

"The dunes are saturated, and especially during high tide are likely to slump. People should not go to the edge of the dune to 'have a look' and take the risk of the dune collapsing under their weight," he said.

"If a beach access is closed, please do not move the signage or disregard and try to reach the beach."

Residents were urged to take note of warning signs put up by council officers, saying they were there to protect people's safety.

The same went for warning signs on roads.

"Whilst we appreciate that it can be frustrating in not being able to get to your destination, signage and barricades are put in place for safety," he said.

"Due to the volume of call outs over the weekend, work crews need to prioritise work and some roads need to be closed whilst work is being carried out."



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