Lismore clean-up and recovery: information for residents

Sunday, 02 April 2017

Lismore City Council and other agencies are working round the clock to deal with the aftermath of recent Wilsons River flooding, which is the largest flood peak Lismore has seen since 1974.
 
Lismore was declared a Natural Disaster Area late on Friday and the Lismore CBD, North and South Lismore still have Evacuation Orders in place. NSW SES Community Liaison Teams will be doorknocking in flood-affected areas of Lismore today (Sunday, 2 April) to provide information and advice to residents.
 
Emergency Services are undertaking a full electrical, structural and hazardous material risk assessment in the Lismore CBD as they work toward issuing an ‘all clear’ for areas still affected by Evacuation Orders.
 
Local roads are being assessed for damage and prioritised as Council crews can get access but many residents remain cut-off by landslips, debris and collapsed bridges and roads.
 
Council has opened the last of the CBD floodgates this morning and all pumps are running. The river and basin is now at 7.4 metres and falling at a rate of around 150mm per hour.
 
Mayor Isaac Smith said Council would apply for funding from the Commonwealth-State National Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) as the recovery and clean-up bill would most definitely run into the millions.
 
“The scale of the disaster is unbelievable. At present our crews are focused on getting water to people at Nimbin where the rural supply remains out and working to open major roads,” he said.
 
“It is important that people understand this clean-up will not just take a few days. This will take many weeks. Right now the situation out there is hazardous with debris everywhere and many road collapses. We implore residents to use common sense in the coming days and weeks and not take any undue risks.
 
“Crews are currently assessing and prioritising road access, with the initial aim to ensure main routes to and from villages are accessible.
 
“We urge people to be patient and to pitch in with recovery efforts wherever possible. Help out your neighbours and friends, and lend a hand with cleaning and tip runs. If you are not helping with the clean-up, please stay away from affected areas. We can all help Lismore get back on its feet quicker if we work together.”
 
Waste collection and clean-up

  • The Lismore Recycling & Recovery Centre is open as normal and people can drop off flood-affected waste free of charge.
  • Kerbside pick-up will begin in the Lismore urban area on Monday morning. We will also do a rural kerbside pick-up in flood-inundated villages although clearing the CBD will be first priority.
  • Normal bin collections will resume in the Lismore urban area on Monday. Residents who were missed last week should place bins out for collection.
  • Residents are asked to please try and sort and separate waste as much as is possible, even for kerbside pick-ups. Where possible, 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.
  • Skips will be placed in the CBD for businesses to dispose of waste once the all clear for the Lismore CBD is issued by the NSW SES.
  • NSW Fire Services will be assisting to hose down businesses in the Lismore CBD. We will have an update on how this will be coordinated around lunchtime today.
  • The Lismore Revolve Shop is closed until further notice – likely to re-open Thursday.
  • Brewster Street Drop-off Centre is closed and is likely to reopen mid next week.

 
Water
Nimbin rural water supply is still out. The remainder of the water system is operating fine and residents can drink tap water in all areas, including those that remain inundated. For Nimbin residents without water, potable water can be accessed from Allsopp Park.
 
Power
There are still around 1000 residents in North and South Lismore without power. Essential Energy is visiting premises today to confirm whether there has been water damage to switchboards so crews can isolate those properties and get the power back on for those who have not been water affected.
 
If a switchboard has been inundated with water Essential Energy will isolate the property – the owner/resident will need to have an electrician assess and test the switchboard, make repairs and then issue a Certificate of Compliance of Electrical Works (CCEW). They can then call 13 20 80, quote the CCEW number and request power be re-energised. This is normal practice as Essential Energy do not have the resources to be able to fix the wiring/electrical issues at each individual property.
 
In cases where the switchboard hasn’t been affected by water, but floodwaters have been present, Essential Energy will keep power connected to the property but pull the fuse on the meter box. This means that once an electrician has done a safety check for water damage to the wiring and an okay is given, residents can restore power themselves rather than requesting Essential Energy do it.
 
There are still several hundred residents in South Gundurimba and Bexhill who may be without power until Monday or Tuesday due to access issues.
 
Roads
Bruxner Highway is now open but people are urged to drive with great caution. Two B-doubles have broken down on the Ballina Street Bridge. Council is inspecting the road network and prioritising worst-affected roads with the aim of getting people access to a main route as a matter of urgency. Council staff will be updating www.myroadinfo.com.au today.
 
Ongoing updates
Council will provide a daily media report as the clean-up and recovery continues. However, for up-to-the-minute updates on what’s happening, please like the Lismore City Council Facebook page.

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