HELPING HAND: Volunteer Rescue Association's Rod Hoffman (right) and NSW SES Murwillumbah volunteer Darren Pearson (centre)assisting a Tweed local across a flooded causeway at Uki. 
Picture: Tweed District Rescue Squad.
HELPING HAND: Volunteer Rescue Association's Rod Hoffman (right) and NSW SES Murwillumbah volunteer Darren Pearson (centre)assisting a Tweed local across a flooded causeway at Uki. Picture: Tweed District Rescue Squad.

Rainfall causes rescue and reprieve

THREE people were rescued from a flooded causeway at Uki after the Tweed was inundated with more than 200mm of rain at the weekend.

Tweed District Rescue Squad were called for help about 10.50am on Saturday after the occupants of a 4WD realised it wasn’t safe to cross a flooded causeway at Rowlands Creek Rd, Uki.

Tweed District Rescue Squad president Drew Carr said the driver and passengers had driven through the causeway earlier that morning, but when they returned, they were stuck and phoned for help.

“The flooded causeway was getting a bit wild, fortunately the occupants decided to call for help rather than take the risk of driving through it,” Mr Carr said.

“They left their car on the other side of the causeway on higher ground.

“Volunteers assisted them through the causeway and ensured they got to the other side safely.”

Mr Carr said recent rain was a reminder for road users to slow down in wet conditions.

“We’ve been so used to driving in dry conditions but this rain brings oil and debris onto the road and alters conditions,” he said.

“It makes the road slippery, there could be damage to the asphalt by potholes expanding and water over the road that you can’t see.

“Slow down in the rain, pay more attention to water on the road and if it’s flooded, forget it.”

The Bureau of Meteorology reporting more than 200mm of rain fell across the Tweed at the weekend.

Tweed Heads had the most rain with BoM registering 214.6mm at the Coolangatta Tweed Heads Golf Club gauge.

Rainfall at Uki registered 201mm, while Murwillumbah’s Bray Park registered 192mm across the weekend, which was a staggering 189.6mm more than the whole of January 2019.

Kingscliff had 174.8mm of rain according to the BoM, reported 13.4mm for all of January 2019.

NSW SES Murwillumbah volunteer Darren Pearson (left) and Volunteer Rescue Association's Rod Hoffman (right) assisted three locals across a flooded causeway at Uki on Saturday.
NSW SES Murwillumbah volunteer Darren Pearson (left) and Volunteer Rescue Association's Rod Hoffman (right) assisted three locals across a flooded causeway at Uki on Saturday.

The rain has come as a relief for Tyalgum residents who have been on Level 4 water restrictions since November 24.

Tweed Shire Council said water restrictions in Tyalgum would be lifted after rain filled the newly refurbished village weir.

Manager water and wastewater Anthony Burnham said Level 2 water restrictions would remain across the Tweed but the move to Level 3 would be delayed by at least 10 weeks.

“Falls of up to 180mm in the catchment has given us the reprieve we so badly wanted,” Mr Burnham said.

“But we are not out of the woods yet and need good follow-up rain to fill Clarrie Hall Dam.”

Mr Burnham said the weekend rain lifted the water level in the dam from 68 per cent on Friday to 79 per cent on Monday and the Tweed River and its feeder creeks are flowing again.

“With the height of the Tweed River now at 1.2m at Bray Park Weir, we are no longer reliant on releases from the dam to supply drinking water to the community.

“But the rain in the catchment has now stopped and there is no more forecast for this coming week so we are still looking at life under Level 2 water restrictions for some time yet.”

Tyalgum weir on Saturday.
Tyalgum weir on Saturday.

He said that further rain should deliver greater run-off into the dam and waterways as the thirsty soils would have soaked up much of the weekend rain.

“On Monday, Council begun work to get the Tyalgum Water Treatment Plant back online as the newly refurbished weir is full,” he said.

“We are working to lift all water restrictions in Tyalgum by as early as tomorrow but the restriction on carting water from that supply will remain in force,” Mr Burhman said.

Council has been tankering water to Tyalgum from the main town water supply since early November after the village weir level fell very low and the quality of the raw water was no longer suitable for treatment.

Taking advantage of the time offline, Council sought urgent approval to undertake improvement and essential maintenance works at the weir. Workers excavated 1.5m of silt out of the bottom of the weir, restoring the weir pool to its original footprint.

They stabilised the weir banks with rocks to prevent further erosion around the extraction inlet structure and to the adjacent land.



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