Damage bill 'unknown'
IT could take weeks for Tweed Shire Council to add up the multi-million dollar bill for the widespread damage from last week's floods and cyclonic winds.
Council staff yesterday began assessing the damage but admitted it was so widespread and varied it could be “some time” before the Council could even start to apply for special State Government natural-disaster funding to meet the costs.
The damage is thought to be widespread throughout the shire, but not as severe as in the January floods last year which saw more concentrated devastation, such as major landslips.
“It will be some time until the total damage bill is known - at least until the end of this week for roads, and much longer for other council areas such as rec- reational assets,” a Council spokesperson said yesterday.
“Council is continuing to assess the damage from last week's rain event in terms of damage to infrastructure such as roads, trees in parklands and reserves and coastal assets such as beach fencing.
“Once the total bill is known Council can apply for funding from the State Government due to the natural-disaster declaration for the Tweed Shire.”
So far Council staff have reported that generally, damage to road surfaces and slippages is “as would be expected with an event of this type” and not as bad as January 2008.
However landslips did include one on Kyogle Road near Palmers Road, rock falls, impending rock falls and mud slides which have blocked parts of some roads, including Numinbah Rd and the Tweed Valley Way.
The spokesperson said the council's Works Unit was inspecting and clearing damage but would need to go into more-isolated areas before the full picture is known.
Because the storms were predicted, she said works staff from outlying areas were able to take backhoes, trucks and chainsaws home with them and get straight to work, even after their area became isolated due to flooding.
“This worked particularly well in areas such as Tyalgum, where roads could be cleared of vegetation more quickly than otherwise,” she said.
Council officers were also out assessing the number of trees destroyed or which had lost limbs in parkland and nature strips across the shire.
Beautification work along Wommin Bay Road at Kingscliff was so badly damaged that about half the newly planted trees need to be replanted.