News, weather warning

Lawrence Hargrave Drive flash flooding and major beach erosion as extreme weather plays havoc in the Illawarra

MOTORISTS are advised to be cautious while driving along Lawrence Hargrave Drive between Austinmer and Bald Hill as torrential rain and extreme weather continues to lash the coast.

Wollongong City Council have placed “water over road” signs on Lawrence Hargrave Drive at Wombarra near the bowling club, and continue to monitor a number of other locations. The Lower Coast Road at Stanwell Park and Otford weirs are currently closed.

A Council spokesperson said crews continue to inspect roads and culverts.

“Where there is a break in the weather, our crews are filling potholes that have opened up due to water seeping through the road pavement,” the spokesperson said.

Residents can report potholes and other dangerous road wash-outs online

With this week’s forecast for ongoing wet weather, Council is urging residents to continue to stay safe and to drive carefully.

Sand is available at Rex Jackson Oval, Helensburgh, Bellambi Boat Ramp overflow car park and Fairy Meadow Beach car park, and residents are welcome to take their own bags and shovels to fill bags for residential use.

Council will continue to monitor road conditions across the city, and have teams on standby to make areas safe should the strong winds bring down trees on public land.

Patrolled beaches along with Thirroul Pool remain closed due to predicted rainfall impacting ocean water quality and hazardous sea conditions.

Council will continue to reassess the conditions across the week.

Residents visiting Woonona, Towradgi, or Corrimal beaches are advised to take extra care around areas of major sand erosion. Along these south-facing beaches there is significant scarping – where waves have eroded sections of sand to create areas with steep and dangerous drops.

The potential for further erosion over the next 48 hours will likely see heavy machinery brought onto beaches to make the areas safer, once the weather improves.

Sportsgrounds remain closed today due to the ground conditions. Russell Vale Golf Course remains closed, and will be reassessed on Wednesday. Council said the weather is also making it challenging to keep grass trimmed.

“We know there are areas of long grass across the city and many of our popular parks, playgrounds and public spaces are in need of a mow thanks to the perfect grass-growing conditions we’re experiencing,” the spokesperson said.

“However, the current rainy weather conditions, huge volumes of rainfall and the extremely soggy grounds are making these tasks very difficult – particularly when, if the ground is too sodden, our mowers can damage the surface or get bogged.”

As conditions improve, and as the saturated grounds start to dry out, the spokesperson said it will support community sports to get up and running by prioritising mowing of sportsfields, and well-used foreshore reserves.

“We encourage residents to stay up to date by monitoring local news updates, monitoring the SES’s local Facebook page, and Wollongong City Council’s social media channels – City of Wollongong on Facebook and Wollongong_City on Twitter.”


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About Mick Roberts

A journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of Australian pubs and associated industries for over 30 years. He is working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick managed several community newspapers. He has been editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), the Sydney city newspaper, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW.

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