MURWILLUMBAH RESIDENTS, especially those in South Murwillumbah, are appealing for help from fellow residents to assist with a massive clean up effort today (Saturday, April 1) following one of the worst Tweed floods in recorded history.
Several properties and business throughout Murwillumbah have suffered devastating blow with some properties almost completely destroyed by the torrential floodwater.
Several families reportedly spent the night in the rafters of their roofs, while others left their homes late into the night using kayaks and boats.
Residents are also being asked to donate whatever funds and household items to give those residents a boost as they face the prospect of losing everything.
Many families have reportedly lost family-photo albums and family heirlooms.
Helpers are encouraged to bring shovels, hoses, brooms and other cleaning gear to assist with cleaning away excessive amounts of mud and debris.
A social media page known as Murwillumbah Flood Donations has been set up with offers of free furniture and other items including assistance.
The site has attracted 500 likes via Facebook with offers such as free clothing, school uniforms, water & food, furniture, free storage courtesy of Storage King and plenty more.
Murwillumbah District Business Chamber acting President Ilze Jaunberzins has been walking the town, taking photos and assessing the damage, while offering help and advice to those that need it.
Mayor of Tweed, Councillor Katie Milne, said Council is committed to providing a kerbside collection of damaged goods and debris from properties heavily affectedby the deluge.
“A number of residents have suffered heavy financial and property losses and will naturally be emotionally impacted as well, so we want to help,” Councillor Milne said.
“Affected residents will be advised of details of the clean up in the coming days, as the waters subside. We won’t be collecting shirewide but certainly affected areas such as South Murwillumbah/Condong, Chinderah, Tumbulgum, Fingal Head and Uki will be included.
“We ask that residents obey all road signage and not drive through flood waters. Our crews haven’t been able to reach all areas, so some roads may be flooded without road closure signs, so be cautious and stay off the roads if you can.”
Council’s water and wastewater infrastructure did not fare so well, with loss of power and communications to the Shire’s major water pump station and similar problems at Uki and Tyalgum. A number of sewage pump stations are out of operation and work is underway to restore them.
“Thankfully, our reservoirs have good supplies so we’ll have sufficient water for at least the next few days, however we ask the community to minimise water usage where possible. There is no need to boil water,” Cr Milne said.
Council offices and phone lines at Murwillumbah and Tweed Heads remain open, however customers with non-urgent issues are requested to hold off until next week with their enquiries if possible, to allow staff to deal with flood-related matters.