Tweed mayor Katie Milne took to the air in a police helicopter on Saturday to see the flood damage across the Tweed from the air.
‘It was really devastating to see the extent of the damage, many areas looked like lakes, with vast areas of brown, dirty water,’ Cr Milne said.
‘Many areas [have been] isolated and completely cut off, she added.
‘I urge people to be extra careful, to not play in flood waters and don’t take risks as there is enough damage out there already,’ she said.
‘Don’t be a flood tourist as we need people to stay off the roads as much as possible.’
General manager, Troy Green said the damage bill was impossible to estimate at this stage but it could run into tens of millions of dollars, if not more.
‘From a council perspective, looking at the extent of the damage to civil infrastructure, it would be pretty hard to predict a damage bill,’ Mr Green said.
This includes the destruction of Byrrill Creek bridge, unconfirmed reports of the loss of Cedar Creek Bridge, major damage to a range of infrastructure along Tweed Valley Way in Greenhills, significant damage to the South Murwillumbah levee, road slips and road damage across the Shire and damage to Council’s water and sewerage infrastructure.
‘Seeing the devastation from the air to public and private infrastructure was heartbreaking,’ HE SAID.
‘There are many in the community who are the lifeblood of what makes the Tweed great who have been severely affected.
‘My heart goes out to the businesses in South Murwillumbah, South Murwillumbah industrial estate and other businesses who employ people the people who live here and have suffered such great losses of plant, stock and buildings.’
Council fleet destroyed
Tweed Council’s main depot and yard at Buchanan Street, South Murwillumbah, were flooded with all the trucks and plant parked up inundated.
‘The damage to our fleet parked up at the depot is almost total, so we are trying to pull vehicles and contract resources in from other areas to assist us get back on the road to assess and repair the damage,’ said General Manager Troy Green.
‘It will take many days for us to dry out our fleet and save what we can, before we can get back up to full strength.
Hot showers available
The Tweed Regional Aquatic Centres (TRAC) at Murwillumbah, Kingscliff and Tweed Heads are open for the public to access for free today.
All TRAC facilities will have free hot showers and bathroom facilities available.
Disabled facilities are also available.
Please note, the Murwillumbah pool is closed for swimming today.
Garbage collection plans
Council reports that skips should be on the ground now in South Murwillumbah. Residents are advised to fill them for collection.
These skips are provided for residential use only.
Council will also arrange for clean-ups in the following areas once an assessment of the damage is undertaken. The areas are:
As soon as floodwaters recede from the Stotts Creek Resource Recovery Centre, Council will have both residential bins and skips removed and returned to refill.
Once the recycling centre is reopened, anticipated by Monday but dependant on the floodwaters receding, Council will waive tip fees for all residents to dump their flood rubbish.
Council also have arranged for three extra rubbish trucks to come from Melbourne to assist in emptying residential bins.
Residents are asked not to put hazardous waste or asbestos in to bins. These items need to be treated carefully.