Flood clean-up and recovery update 3 April

Monday, 03 April 2017

Lismore City Council is asking the community for help and understanding during the flood clean-up and recovery effort ahead as the full enormity of the damage becomes apparent.
 
Council is prioritising cleaning and road access but the sheer size of the disaster is straining resources, and Mayor Isaac Smith said people need to be prepared for the clean-up to take a significant amount of time.
 
He said 197 tonnes of waste was collected yesterday and it is estimated this figure could be upward of 10,000 tonnes once all flood debris and kerbside rubbish has been collected.
 
Traffic chaos in the Lismore CBD yesterday has also made clean-up efforts challenging and the CBD block was closed at 6am this morning to enable cleaning crews to do pick-ups unencumbered. Council will issue a notice when the CBD block is reopened to traffic.
 
“This is the most damaging flood Lismore has experienced without a doubt – we have twice the amount of infrastructure we did in 1954 or 1974, and the water velocity was much higher, so the devastation is overwhelming,” he said.
 
“If you have a spare trailer, any help collecting and taking waste to the Lismore Recycling & Recovery Centre would be appreciated. We also urge people to separate anything like food that could rot in the garbage and take this to the Lismore Recycling & Recovery Centre or place in a green bin urgently. The clean-up may take weeks and we cannot have rotting food and waste sitting on roadsides for that long.”
 
 
Mayor Isaac Smith also implored people to stay away from flood-affected areas unless they are involved in the clean-up.
 
“Flood tourists are causing traffic havoc. We understand it’s very human to want to see what is happening in your own town, but the traffic volumes are hampering clean-up efforts,” he said.
 
“Please be aware that for some members of our community this is a highly emotional time. Entire homes and businesses have been destroyed. These people are trying to rebuild their lives and people who do not live in a flood-affected area need to be really mindful of that.”
 
Waste collection and clean-up
  • Lismore CBD main block is closed to traffic while crews clear rubbish and debris. Carparks around the CBD are still open. Business owners can walk in to continue cleaning. Skips provided in the CBD for rubbish.
  • Eighty NSW Fire Service trucks and more than 500 staff have been deployed for use in Lismore and will begin systematically moving across the city hosing out homes and businesses. If you see them and would like something sluiced just ask.
  • Kerbside pick-ups in North and South Lismore began this morning. Crews will start with major roads first and work outward to smaller streets. Crews will need to block off streets while clean up takes place. Rural kerbside pick-up to occur in flood-inundated villages. Dates not available yet. CBD debris and rubbish clearing remains first priority.
  • Normal kerbside bin collections resumed this morning. Residents who were missed last week should place bins out for collection.
  • Lismore Recycling & Recovery Centre will be open until 6pm each day this week. All flood-affected waste can be dropped off free of charge.
  • Please place all rotting food in green bins or take directly to Lismore Recycling & Recovery Centre. Use household bins wherever possible but do not overload.
  • Residents are urged to sort waste wherever possible, even for kerbside pick-ups. Separate recyclables, electronics, whitegoods, green waste etc. Rotting food should be placed in your green wheelie bin or taken to the Lismore Recycling & Recovery Centre.
  • Bins that have been lost in the flood will be replaced. Please phone us on 1300 87 83 87 to log your details.
  • The Lismore Revolve Shop is closed until further notice – likely to re-open Thursday.
  • Brewster Street Drop-off Centre is closed and likely to reopen mid-week in new location.
  • All school and botanical garden educational tours at the Lismore Recycling & Recovery Centre have been cancelled.
 
Pets and animals
If you have lost an animal or need deceased animals to be collected please phone the Department of Primary Industries on 1300 795 299 and log it. Council Rangers will then be deployed.
 
Water
Nimbin rural water supply is now restored. A boil water notice is still in effect for these residents, who should expect the water to be dirty for at least the next few days. Potable water is available from Allsopp Park.
 
Power
Essential Energy has reported that 590 people remain without power throughout the Far North Coast.
 
South Lismore: Power was restored to more than 600 people yesterday with crews continuing to visit every premise in the area to assess whether switchboards have been inundated with water or not. Essential Energy will continue to work with people to progressively restore power to the remaining 460.
 
South Gundurimba: Boats were used yesterday to restore power to 170 people with eight now remaining without supply. Essential Energy hopes to gain access today to areas where power poles and lines were washed away so that repairs can be made.
 
Essential Energy continues to stay in contact with those without power via text messages and Facebook and customers are encouraged to phone 13 20 80 if they need any further information.
 
Roads
Council is working to restore access on Blue Knob Road today and is continuing inspection of the road network to prioritise worst affected roads. Inspection of major roads outside Lismore is approximately 70% complete. Over 60 major defects identified to date (landslips, bridge/culvert wash outs etc.). Inspections of minor roads or gravel roads will commence once major roads complete.
 
Ballina Road traffic lights are still out. With Pacific Highway cut, traffic on the Bruxner Highway has doubled. Bangalow Road reopened this morning. Council is working to provide access to main routes as a matter of urgency for all people still without access. For updates, visit www.myroadinfo.com.au.
 
Airport
Airport was reopened at 10am Monday, 3 April. Rex hoping to start flights from Tuesday, 4 April. Will update when confirmed.
 
Volunteering
If you would like to volunteer or would like some help to clean your home or business, go to the Facebook page Lismore Helping Hands. This was set up by three local people and more than 4000 volunteers have registered to help with the clean-up.
 
Donations
We are working to coordinate offers of goods and money. We will advise when we have clarity on where to make physical and financial relief donations.
 
Flood Recovery Centre
The NSW Government is working with Council to establish a Flood Recovery Centre to assist people in the weeks and months ahead as the recovery effort takes place. This will house essential services such as Centrelink and Housing NSW. More information will be forthcoming once location established.
 
Insurance claims
The Insurance Council of Australia has contacted Lismore City Council and advised that people with insurance in flood-affected areas who do not specifically have flood coverage should still make a claim as it may be covered under storm damage. If people encounter problems with their insurer, phone the Catastrophe Event Insurance Hotline on 1800 734 621.
 
Lismore Library and Lismore Memorial Baths
Lismore Library and the Lismore Memorial Baths are closed for clean-up until further notice. Mobile Library open Monday and Tuesday from 9.30am to 5pm in front of Lismore Library. Goonellabah Library and Goonellabah Sports & Aquatic Centre operating as normal.
 
Ongoing updates
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