TWEED SHIRE Council has been hit hard with extensive damage to assets making the job of assessing and repairing community infrastructure even harder.
In a media statement this afternoon (Sunday, April 2) Council said a main depot and yard at Buchanan Street, South Murwillumbah, was flooded with trucks and plant parked inside.
“The damage to our fleet parked up at the depot is almost total, so we are trying to pull vehicles and contract resources in from other areas to assist us get back on the road to assess and repair the damage,” said Council’s General Manager Troy Green.
“It will take many days for us to dry out our fleet and save what we can, before we can get back up to full strength.
“Our mechanics and auto electricians will have to strip and repair all vehicles that can be saved, ensuring we don’t do further damage to the computer componentry when we turn them on.
“Our fuel supplies have been contaminated by water and will require ‘polishing’ before it is fit for use. That process will begin tomorrow and may take a couple of days.
“We’ve had great offers of assistance from local earthmoving and engineering contractors who are helping us clear and make safe some of the road damage. A local crane hire company has lent a crane.
“Many, many roads have been affected and at least one bridge, and possibly two, washed away.
“We have asked for assistance from the State Government and extra resources from Public Works to help assess the damage to the South Murwillumbah levee, the Byrrill Creek Bridge and possibly Cedar Creek Bridge.
“Solo Waste Recovery and A1 Skips have provided skips to South Murwillumbah so residents can start the clean-up. More rubbish trucks are coming from Melbourne to join the effort.
“We’ll then get into Uki, Fingal, Chinderah and Tumbulgum with bins as soon as we can.”
In an earlier statement Council said it was working to get emergency skip bins onto the streets of the worst-affected areas throughout the shire to assist residents begin the clean-up.
Skips should be on the ground now in South Murwillumbah. Residents are advised to fill them for collection.
“These skips are provided for residential use only,” Council’s statement reads.
Council will also arrange for clean-ups in the following areas once an assessment of the damage is undertaken. The areas are:
As soon as floodwaters recede from the Stotts Creek Resource Recovery Centre, Council will have both residential bins and skips removed and returned to refill.
Once the recycling centre is reopened, anticipated by Monday but dependant on the floodwaters receding, Council will waive tip fees for all residents to dump their flood rubbish.
Council also have arranged for three extra rubbish trucks to come from Melbourne to assist in emptying residential bins.
Residents are asked not to put hazardous waste or asbestos in to bins. These items need to be treated carefully.
A licenced asbestos removalist should be contacted for large demolition or removal works of more than 10 square metres, which would equate to an average-sized bathroom.
However if you have small quantities of asbestos or are unsure of whether the material is hazardous, please:
Stack any materials you are concerned about in neat piles away from other household waste
Cover if possible (it needs to be wrapped in black builder’s plastic, available from hardware stores)
Do not break up the material as that will release the toxic fibres. Keep it as big as possible and keep it damp.
For more information on hazardous materials, contact the Environmental Health Section at Council on 6670 2400. An officer will return your call and arrange to inspect the materials as soon as possible to provide you with advice.
Council would like to acknowledge the assistance of Solo Resource Recovery and A1 Skips for providing resources during this time.