Eurobodalla Emergency Operations Centre bushfire update
Wednesday 8 January, 10.00am
NSW RFS advise: All fires impacting Eurobodalla are at advice level. There are no concerns for properties at this time. High fire danger is forecast for Friday. In this window of opportunity, NSW Rural Fire Service are doing what they can to contain the fires. The rain has made little impact on the fires.
NEW NSW RFS will provide an updated forecast about Friday’s expected fire activity today.
Emergency services advise that Eurobodalla residents may return to their homes, except for those living in the Deua, Pollwombra and Larry’s Mountain Road areas west of Moruya, where NSW RFS continues to monitor fire activity in that area.
IMPORTANT: NSW Police are maintaining patrols to properties in fire-impacted areas.
For travel within Eurobodalla:
· Broulee Road and Araluen Road remain closed
· Avoid travelling west of the Princes Highway into areas of burnt ground or approaching fires, including areas such as Nerrigundah and Belowra.
The Princes Highway is open. Continue to monitor Live Traffic. Drive cautiously, do not cross road blocks and obey traffic control.
IMPORTANT: Residents in Moruya and south to Tilba should continue to boil their drinking water until further notice. Following the weekend’s firefighting activities, reservoirs in the south of the shire were filled with water straight from the river without the usual treatment process. Health authorities recommend you bring water to a rolling boil for at least one minute.
All Eurobodalla residents should be conservative with water use until further notice. There is no need to water down your house or yard unless fire or embers are visible. NEW If you notice neighbours misusing water, you might feel comfortable having a chat to explain why it’s important to conserve our water for firefighting and community use, or you can call 1800 755 760 to report.
Council is aware that rubbish is piling up. Residents should put all three bins out and wait for the kerbside collection. It started yesterday and won’t necessarily follow the usual schedule for now – trucks will collect as much as they can, when they can. Good progress is being made on red-lid bins. Please continue your good bin habits – red for waste, yellow for recycling, green for green waste. More trucks will arrive to help as soon as possible.
NEW Residents who filled their bins with water to help firefighters should now empty them onto the grass or garden, and use their bins for waste, recycling or green waste. Please don’t leave bins filled with water on the kerb now that kerbside collection has recommenced.
NEW Surf Beach tip is closed due to fire impacts, Moruya Transfer Station is now open two extra days per week, Monday to Friday, and Brou tip opened today, seven days per week.
NEW Residents whose bins have been destroyed by fire, please contact Council’s waste services on 4474 1024 before 12pm Wednesday 8 January to ensure your replacement bin can be delivered in time for next kerbside collection.
Power is being progressively restored to most of Eurobodalla with about 24,000 of the 32,000 homes and businesses impacted by fires now having power. However, for the remaining customers, in many cases power won’t be back on until into the weekend or longer. Back-feeding of power supply is occurring wherever possible however the fires have also impacted this capability.
Estimated restoration times will be available on Essential Energy’s website and Facebook page once clearer details are to hand.
Essential Energy thoughts are with the community at this challenging time and would like to reassure everyone that significant resources are in place to get the power back on as quickly as safety will allow. Please remain 8 metres away from any damaged electrical infrastructure.
Eurobodalla has been overwhelmed by the generosity and kindness of people from around Australia donating items for our fire affected residents. NSW Disaster Welfare Recovery is now asking everyone to reconsider how they can best support those impacted. Money is the best way to help people buy the things they really need, empower them to make decisions about their future and support their local businesses by spending locally. Consider donations to Salvation Army 2019 November Bushfire Appeal, Red Cross Relief and Recovery, St Vincent de Paul Society Bushfire Appeal, Wildlife Rescue.
Food and fuel
Food and fuel trucks are coming into Eurobodalla under escort where necessary through fire affected areas.
IMPORTANT: Do not sift through fire-damaged material until it has been inspected and verified to be asbestos-free. Licensed contractors from NSW Public Works Authority are progressively working through fire-affected areas, and started yesterday Monday 6 January.
NEW Avoid swimming for now
Bushfires may have impacted Eurobodalla’s waterways and beaches. Smoke, ash, debris, potential runoff from burnt areas and sewer surcharges have impacted our waterways. As a precaution residents are advised to avoid swimming in waterways and beaches.
Eurobodalla’s Emergency Operations Centre reminds visitors to delay their travel plans to Eurobodalla for now. Local tourism businesses are urged to adhere to this advice. There is still active fire in most of Eurobodalla and south to the Victorian border. At this time it is in the best interests of visitors and our community to delay travel plans to Eurobodalla. Many local residents have lost their homes or can't return to them and these people require accommodation, resources and support. Until this Friday’s high fire danger has passed and NSW RFS reassess the forecast, visitors should stay away from the Eurobodalla.
To those at evacuation centres, we thank you for your patience and goodwill in trying circumstances. The centres will remain open and providing support for as long as required. Please talk to centre staff about disaster welfare assistance. We understand online access to information about support services is limited, and printed information is now available at the centres.
Eurobodalla Emergency Operations Centre will continue to provide 10am and 6pm updates for the community. These are distributed to local media, community associations, evacuation centres, posted on Eurobodalla Council’s Facebook page, as well as printed for community noticeboards. Other announcements are made as required via local media and social media. Eurobodalla Council’s communications team prepares and distributes the official communications as part of the multi-agency emergency response.
NEW Communications can be difficult when power is out. Have a battery-powered radio on hand for company and information when this happens. Our local radio stations ABC Southeast and 2EC/PowerFM are providing continuous coverage and broadcasting the official community updates.
Warren Sharpe, OAM
Local Emergency Management Officer
Emergency Operations Centre, Eurobodalla
Wednesday 8 January 2020, 10.00am