News, weather warning

Here we go again! Significant rainfall forecasted over the coming days

WITH the Bureau of Meteorology forecasting significant rainfall over the coming days, Wollongong City Council is working with Wollongong SES to provide residents with the opportunity to fill their own sandbags.

Sand has been placed at four locations across the Wollongong Local Government Area, and residents are able to take their own bags and shovels to the sites to fill bags to use to protect their properties. People can also log a request with NSW SES on 132 500 for sandbags.

The locations are:

  • Rex Jackson Oval carpark, Helensburgh
  • Fairy Meadow beach carpark, Fairy Meadow
  • Bellambi foreshore carpark, Bellambi
  • Fred Finch Park carpark, Berkeley

“We’re working with the SES to support our community at this challenging time,’’ Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said.

“We’ve seen consistent and constant rain over the past few months and our ground is very sodden and wet. We know the city is prone to flash-flooding due to the escarpment and our close proximity to the sea.

“The forecast has between 100-200mm of rain predicted and for totals of up to 300mm possible across Thursday and Friday. I encourage people to be prepared and to be cautious. Think ahead, make plans as to what you would do if you were to experience flash flooding and please do not take any unnecessary risks.’’

The SES is available on 132 500 for emergency assistance in flood and during storms.

Cr Bradbery said Council crews are out inspecting key drainage and culverts to ensure they’re cleared ahead of the change in weather. Teams are also on standby to place ‘water over road’ signage, should it be required.

Residents are warned to avoid walking too close to coastal headlands on rock platforms with the possibility of rockfalls remaining a real risk.

“We’ve expert geotechnical engineers within Council, and they have been carrying out inspections across the city and we know that due to the recent weather it is possible we might see landslips and rockfalls,’’ Cr Bradbery said.

“Please do not put yourself in a position where you could be at risk. We have taped off some of our headland areas, where we can, but we can not place signage or tape on a rock platform due to the changing tidal conditions. So, please, just avoid these areas for the time being and keep safe.’’

Cr Bradbery said with heavy rainfall it was likely some roads would be inundated, and people should be cautious.

“We all have our regular routes that we travel, and you get to know the risk points. For instance, we know that Lawrence Hargrave Drive will have points where water will flow across the road in heavy rainfall, and West Dapto Road is likely to have water pooling on it. Please drive to the conditions, and don’t drive through floodwater,” Cr Bradbery said.

“Please treat all travel with caution as in this weather, footpaths and road surfaces can become damaged, slippery or dangerous. I ask everyone to be extra vigilant over the next few days. Don’t take risks, especially in locations around the coastline or escarpment where there may be risk of land slips or rock falls.

“I’d also like to remind people to keep clear of waterways and stormwater drains, streams and creeks. We are safer when we work together and watch out for one another, so please stay dry and stay safe.”

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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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