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Eurobodalla Emergency Operations Centre community update - Monday 13 January 2020

🛑Eurobodalla Emergency Operations Centre community update - Monday 13 January 2020🛑

❗️New - Residents and business in Moruya's north-west are safe to head back ❗️New - Eurobodalla Recovery Centre now open in Batemans Bay ❗️New - Council's position on visitors returning to the shire at the this time ❗️New - Shout out to WIRES ❗️New - The clean-up info continues to be important

🔥Fires NSW RFS report that weather for the next five days is predicted to be more favourable with the chance of showers later in the week. Although there is still significant amounts of fire across the area, the risk has eased. Firefighters and support agencies will continue work to contain and recover from the fires over coming weeks and months.

👨‍👩‍👧‍👦NEW Fire impacted residents Eurobodalla’s three evacuation centres remain open to support those impacted by fires, with changed hours this week for Narooma and Moruya.

Support services provided by the centres are transitioning to the Eurobodalla Recovery Centre, now open at Batemans Bay Community Centre, 2 Museum Place, Batemans Bay.

✅Batemans Bay evacuation centre Hanging Rock Function Centre, Hanging Rock Place – open 24/7 ✅Moruya evacuation centre Moruya Basketball stadium, in the showgrounds, Albert Street - open 7am to 7pm. ✅Narooma evacuation centre Leisure Centre, Bluewater Drive – open 9am to 5pm, closing 5pm Wednesday 15 January.

🧡NEW Eurobodalla Recovery Centre Eurobodalla’s Recovery Centre is now open, located in the Batemans Bay Community Centre at 2 Museum Place, Batemans Bay.

The centre is an official NSW Government Disaster Welfare Assistance Point. Immediate assistance with accommodation and relief grants will be available today for fire-impacted residents. In the coming days, services will expand to become a one-stop shop for recovery information and services for the community, and to expedite government processes.

Professional staff who understand the emergency will be on hand to help. The Recovery Centre will also be a safe place for those affected by the disaster to meet and talk about their experiences. No appointment is necessary. You will be welcomed and supported.

📍Eurobodalla Recovery Centre 2 Museum Place, Batemans Bay 9am-5pm daily

If you are unable to get to the Disaster Welfare Assistance Point please call the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018 444.

📍NEW Residents returning to north-west Moruya Far South Coast Rural Fire Service advise that continuing favourable conditions mean residents living in north-west Moruya can return home. Moruya industrial area is also now open. There is still active fire in the area, and firefighters will be taking advantage of favourable conditions to backburn behind properties. Residents will need to monitor the conditions closely and know what they will do if fire threatens. Residents of that area feeling anxious or unsafe may need to consider not returning for the time being.

🎒NEW Visitors: information for residents NSW Rural Fire Service Far South Coast advise that weather for the next five days is predicted to be more favourable with the chance of showers later in the week. Although there is still significant amounts of fire across the Far South Coast the risk has eased and NSW RFS advised the public yesterday there are villages and towns that are now safe for people to visit.

The Rural Fire Service is asking local holiday parks and accommodation providers to review their systems of monitoring weather conditions and changes in the fire situation so they can ensure their guests are well informed and stay safe whilst visiting the area.

Eurobodalla Council and NSW RFS are urging visitors to make contact with their accommodation provider or the Batemans Bay or Narooma Visitor Information Centres to discuss local conditions before travelling to the Eurobodalla.

Council understands the community is hurting and that our recovery has barely begun. Part of that recovery is the return of visitors to help businesses get back on their feet. Council’s tourism promotions at this time will welcome visitors, let them know the community needs their compassion, but also tell them honestly about the damage the community has sustained.

That will include up to date information about areas of Eurobodalla that are not accessible due to fire damage, water restrictions, National Parks, State Forests and other closures, along with requests to respect the privacy of residents and avoid fire-impacted residential areas, and that they must be vigilant while in the Eurobodalla and monitor Fires Near Me and Live Traffic. Council will continue to keep the community and tourism businesses informed about its approach to visitor promotions.

This Facebook video with Warren Sharpe explains Council’s position at this point.

🚦Kings Highway The Kings Highway is expected to open this week. A re-opening announcement from Transport for NSW is expected shortly.

🚙Travel Emergency services are asking people in the Eurobodalla to avoid fire-affected residential areas to respect the privacy of those who have lost homes. Please observe roadblocks. They are in place for your safety.

🧹Cleaning up after fires In Eurobodalla, the bushfires have destroyed 453 homes, 73 facilities, and 722 outbuildings, with damage sustained to 228 houses, 28 facilities and 223 outbuildings.

It is imperative people do not enter properties until advised it is safe. The building could be unstable and there are possibly electrical hazards, hot coals or hazardous materials. 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 working through Eurobodalla’s fire-affected areas, prioritising areas where there is an increased likelihood of children potentially accessing fire-affected sites.

Signs are displayed on properties that have been inspected to provide advice for owners. You can find out the status of your property by calling Public Works Advisory on 1800 885 539.

Building rubble should not be buried as it may contain hazardous materials.

Don’t spread ash around your property, particularly if asbestos materials were used in your home or other structures, or CCA-treated timber was burnt. Moisten the ash with water to minimise dust and keep damp but do not use high pressure water sprays.

🦘NEW Wildlife A huge shout out to Eurobodalla’s WIRES team. This small band of volunteers has worked night and day to help wildlife injured in the fires. All praise and strength to them.

Eurobodalla Council’s environment team say residents can help out our native animals by placing dishes of water no more than 15cm high in their gardens. Make sure they can escape if they fall in. We don't usually encourage feeding wildlife but at this drastic time some fruit and vegies and wild bird seed without black seeds may help get animals through until their natural food supplies replenish. Council staff are placing water and food around the shire’s reserves. Please don’t place water or food near roadsides.

💡NEW Power Essential Energy advise that 1,464 Eurobodalla customers continue without power following the bushfires. Work resumes today to restore the fire-damaged network around Surf Beach, Malua Bay, Catalina, Mogo and Runnyford.

💧Water All Eurobodalla residents should be conservative with water use to make sure we have enough water for drinking and firefighting. Level 3 restrictions remain in place, meaning all outdoor water use is restricted to up to one hour of watering your garden between 6am and 8am OR 6pm and 8pm. Please help conserve water and refrain from washing your car.

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.

🏊‍♀️Swimming and beaches Smoke, ash, debris, potential runoff from burnt areas and possible sewer surcharges may have impacted Eurobodalla’s waterways. As a precaution, the advice is to avoid swimming in waterway and beaches, especially if the water looks murky and discoloured.

Eurobodalla’s paid and volunteer lifesavers have been deployed to assist the emergency response, and beaches remain closed at this stage.