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Byron Shire
March 9, 2021

Batten down the hatches, here comes ‘Oma’

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The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has issued a cyclone watch for coastal parts of south east Queensland and northern NSW with gales developing as Tropical Cyclone Oma approaches.

The watch zone is between Bundaberg and Ballina.

BOM predicts a significant east to north-easterly swell over far northern NSW beaches, including the Tweed. The increasing swell is also expected to combine with king tides.

Large and powerful surf conditions are expected to be hazardous for coastal activities such as rock fishing, swimming and surfing. All far north coast beaches are closed until further notice.

Tweed Shire Council’s new Emergency Dashboard is Council’s one-stop shop for information for residents if Tropical Cyclone Oma continues its path towards the east coast over the next few days.

Council’s General Manager Troy Green said one of the key lessons from the March 2017 flood was the need for an improved online solution to support the Tweed community during emergencies.

The Emergency Dashboard includes the current status for weather warnings, road closures, power outages, water and sewer interruptions, and Council services and facilities, along with links to many other useful resources to help with planning for an emergency and what to do after.

‘The Emergency Dashboard provides up-to-date information, useful links and contacts in the event of an emergency. It is linked to our website and is available 24/7,’ said Mr Green.

‘However it is important to note that unlike on the Gold Coast, Tweed Shire Council is not the main agency in an emergency – it’s the SES.

‘If the rain does come, we reiterate the SES advice to people to not drive, ride or walk through flood water.

‘While we don’t know how this weather system will play out, we’re taking action to prepare and protect council and the community’s assets.

‘If the worst doesn’t happen, this is a valuable exercise in emergency preparedness.

‘We’re moving our fleet to higher ground, inspecting and preparing flood gates and levees, filling our treated water supply reservoirs and getting equipment ready to close beach access points should erosion cause big drop-offs.

‘In terms of our water supply, we’re prepared for potential salt water inundation at the Bray Park Weir with blocks and sand bags in place to provide additional protection against abnormally high tides,’ he said.

Residents are reminded that ABC North Coast radio is the emergency broadcaster.

For updates, tune in on 94.5 FM, 720 AM or listen online at https://www.abc.net.au/northcoast/

To view the dashboard, go to https://emergency.tweed.nsw.gov.au/

To contact the SES call 132 500.

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