WOLLONGONG Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery has paid tribute to the volunteers and staff who worked around the clock over the weekend to keep the region safe.
“Hundreds of emergency services personnel along with agencies including Wollongong City Council worked tirelessly to keep our residents safe during this extraordinary weather event that pummelled the east coast,” said Cr Bradbery.
A multi-agency Emergency Operations Centre was set up in Council’s Administration Building to respond to the situation.
In addition to regularly scheduled staff, Wollongong City Council deployed a team of around 50 staff to assist 24-7 right across the region.
Field staff were tasked with inspecting, monitoring and closing roads, securing and removing unsafe trees, installing barricading in areas to reduce danger to the public and supporting emergency services staff in their duties.
Wollongong City Council distributed 500 sandbags overnight Friday and hundreds more in the following days. Sandbags are still available free of charge to residents at the Northern, Central and Southern depots.
Cr Bradbery says since the emergency situation has subsided the Council’s focus has turned to inspection of damage, removal of trees and debris, repair of infrastructure and the securing of dangerous areas.
“Many of our buildings and properties did sustain a level of damage but overall we were very lucky, with most of the damage minor. Things like our local beaches, however were heavily impacted. Coalcliff and Coledale beaches have been significantly impacted and the sites have been secured with para-webbing. North Beach, particularly Puckeys has seen heavy rubbish inundation and some scarping. City Beach at the south end is heavily scarped with Bank Street entrance closed off.” Inspections are still being carried out but damage is expected at East Corrimal and Bulli where creeks enter.
He is urging people to use common sense around flooded or damaged areas. “While the immediate danger has passed there are still plenty of hazards about including unstable ground around our beaches, and unsecured trees. I urge residents to not take any unnecessary risks and to keep away from areas that have been closed off. They’re closed for a reason.”
Council anticipates more reports of damage as the water subsides and staff continue inspections across the LGA. The public is encouraged to report any damage or hazardous conditions in Council owned areas to the Customer Service Team on 4227 7111.