Flood March/April 2021

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Consultation has concluded

On Thursday 18 April 2021 a significant weather system impacted the north coast for a number of days bringing extensive rainfalls. This created extensive damage across NSW including many homes that were inundated with water. On Friday 19th March 2021 2 major landslips on waterfall were reported causing the closure of Waterfall Way, disconnecting our communities of Thora and Dorrigo from Bellingen. A subsequent 10+ landslides were reported across the Shire, including many on Waterfall Way. Households in a number of areas across the Shire were isolated due to the floods for an extensive period of time. In addition our telecommunications systems were impacted, some for a few hours and some for a number of weeks. Our flood cameras ran out of juice due to lack of sunlight. Many many roads across the shire were significantly impacted, due to erosion from the waters and landslides. A Disaster was declared on the 1st April 2021 across 63 LGAs, including the Belllingen Shire.

Waterfall way was reopened on the 8 April 2021 after 3 weeks of closure, however there are still significant works taking place to ensure that full appropriate remedial work is undertaken, and one way traffic is in operation in places. Scotchman road was reopened on the 22nd April following a month of closure. Work continues down the Kalang Road following a major impact to the road surface due to water ingress and the loss of a pathway by the river, a load limit is currently in operation.

During the response, the community worked hard to stay connected and keep one another informed/safe - the Dorrigo Mountain Watch page became a hit after launching just days before the floods. Council sought to share information via Facebook, (follow https://www.facebook.com/ResilienceBelloShire) and through those registered to receive direct council updates. Staff also set up camp outside various stores in Thora, Bellingen and Dorrigo to hear what challenges our community were facing. Council also worked closely with the Neighbourhood Care Network, created by the wider Community at the outset of the Covid Pandemic in early 2010, to provide updates to the community via their SMS and social media networks.

In order to understand the impacts to the Shire a Flood Impacts survey was created. Within a week 179 responses were gained. Results of the survey can be found in the side panel to the right. However, in summary:

  • 25% respondents were businesses
  • Most respondents were impacted by road closures (176)
  • The community was also impacted by direct flood damage (30), power outages (24) and telecomms outages (53) among other impacts
  • 146 incurred additional costs. Most (124) were <$5K of costs
  • 88 lost incomes. Most (58) were <$5K of losses.
  • Business were most impacted by costs and losses. Of the 56 business that responded, there were 39 responses of costs/losses of >$5K being incurred (some over $25K)
  • Other impacts included cancelled/delayed needed medical appointments (over 60), people that ran out of needed supplies (45) and those impacted by school closures (33)

This information was provided to NSWResilience in order for them to have a clear understanding of the unique impacts this flood event had on our community to ensure that they have this relevant data to enable appropriate decisions to be taken in order to provide appropriate state/national support to our impacted community members. We are aware that the survey responses we collected (without any personal data) have been shared within NSWResilience broadly and they have sought follow up details.

The survey remains open, and we are still keen to gain as full a picture as possible - so please do Fill in the survey at this link (it takes just 6 minutes on average to complete!)

We are, and will continue to, publish all relevant support available to those impacted on the Recovery Page of the Bellingen Disaster Dashboard, which is a site we are developing to collate all relevant information to prepare for disasters, keep informed of latest disaster statuses specific to our Shire (road closures, bridge levels, power outages, weather warnings, etc) and to access relevant recovery information. Any feedback on this site as we continue to improve it is welcomed. Please simply email council@bellingen.nsw.gov.au.

We are conscious that we didn't enable people to feedback on what did/didn't work in terms of our Shire's response to the recent floods. Please do provide high-level feedback by responding to our 2 quick poll questions (on right hand panel of this page). We would also love to hear any proposed ideas you think we could do in the future, in the ideas tab below. We welcome more detailed feedback (negative or positive!) - and ask you to provide this via our guestbook (see tab below) or don't hesitate to email, phone or drop in and see Liz Hull or Clare Danby at Council.

Clare Danby - email cdanby@bellingen.nsw.gov.au(External link) or phone – 0428 720502

Liz Hull – email lhull@bellingen.nsw.gov.au(External link) or phone – 0429 001059

To be kept updated on Resilience activities across the Shire (including those involving council) please do join our Resilience@BelloShire facebook page.

On Thursday 18 April 2021 a significant weather system impacted the north coast for a number of days bringing extensive rainfalls. This created extensive damage across NSW including many homes that were inundated with water. On Friday 19th March 2021 2 major landslips on waterfall were reported causing the closure of Waterfall Way, disconnecting our communities of Thora and Dorrigo from Bellingen. A subsequent 10+ landslides were reported across the Shire, including many on Waterfall Way. Households in a number of areas across the Shire were isolated due to the floods for an extensive period of time. In addition our telecommunications systems were impacted, some for a few hours and some for a number of weeks. Our flood cameras ran out of juice due to lack of sunlight. Many many roads across the shire were significantly impacted, due to erosion from the waters and landslides. A Disaster was declared on the 1st April 2021 across 63 LGAs, including the Belllingen Shire.

Waterfall way was reopened on the 8 April 2021 after 3 weeks of closure, however there are still significant works taking place to ensure that full appropriate remedial work is undertaken, and one way traffic is in operation in places. Scotchman road was reopened on the 22nd April following a month of closure. Work continues down the Kalang Road following a major impact to the road surface due to water ingress and the loss of a pathway by the river, a load limit is currently in operation.

During the response, the community worked hard to stay connected and keep one another informed/safe - the Dorrigo Mountain Watch page became a hit after launching just days before the floods. Council sought to share information via Facebook, (follow https://www.facebook.com/ResilienceBelloShire) and through those registered to receive direct council updates. Staff also set up camp outside various stores in Thora, Bellingen and Dorrigo to hear what challenges our community were facing. Council also worked closely with the Neighbourhood Care Network, created by the wider Community at the outset of the Covid Pandemic in early 2010, to provide updates to the community via their SMS and social media networks.

In order to understand the impacts to the Shire a Flood Impacts survey was created. Within a week 179 responses were gained. Results of the survey can be found in the side panel to the right. However, in summary:

  • 25% respondents were businesses
  • Most respondents were impacted by road closures (176)
  • The community was also impacted by direct flood damage (30), power outages (24) and telecomms outages (53) among other impacts
  • 146 incurred additional costs. Most (124) were <$5K of costs
  • 88 lost incomes. Most (58) were <$5K of losses.
  • Business were most impacted by costs and losses. Of the 56 business that responded, there were 39 responses of costs/losses of >$5K being incurred (some over $25K)
  • Other impacts included cancelled/delayed needed medical appointments (over 60), people that ran out of needed supplies (45) and those impacted by school closures (33)

This information was provided to NSWResilience in order for them to have a clear understanding of the unique impacts this flood event had on our community to ensure that they have this relevant data to enable appropriate decisions to be taken in order to provide appropriate state/national support to our impacted community members. We are aware that the survey responses we collected (without any personal data) have been shared within NSWResilience broadly and they have sought follow up details.

The survey remains open, and we are still keen to gain as full a picture as possible - so please do Fill in the survey at this link (it takes just 6 minutes on average to complete!)

We are, and will continue to, publish all relevant support available to those impacted on the Recovery Page of the Bellingen Disaster Dashboard, which is a site we are developing to collate all relevant information to prepare for disasters, keep informed of latest disaster statuses specific to our Shire (road closures, bridge levels, power outages, weather warnings, etc) and to access relevant recovery information. Any feedback on this site as we continue to improve it is welcomed. Please simply email council@bellingen.nsw.gov.au.

We are conscious that we didn't enable people to feedback on what did/didn't work in terms of our Shire's response to the recent floods. Please do provide high-level feedback by responding to our 2 quick poll questions (on right hand panel of this page). We would also love to hear any proposed ideas you think we could do in the future, in the ideas tab below. We welcome more detailed feedback (negative or positive!) - and ask you to provide this via our guestbook (see tab below) or don't hesitate to email, phone or drop in and see Liz Hull or Clare Danby at Council.

Clare Danby - email cdanby@bellingen.nsw.gov.au(External link) or phone – 0428 720502

Liz Hull – email lhull@bellingen.nsw.gov.au(External link) or phone – 0429 001059

To be kept updated on Resilience activities across the Shire (including those involving council) please do join our Resilience@BelloShire facebook page.

Feedback

Please feel free to feedback here anything specifically you liked or didn't like about the community/council response to this emergency.