RICHMOND Valley Council is assessing widespread damage to its road network following last week’s storms and heavy rain, with an estimated $2 million in damage.
Sustained rainfall due to the impacts of ex-Tropical Cyclone Uesi on 12-13 February saw more than 150mm of rain over a 48-hour period in some areas, causing damaging flash floods across parts of the Richmond Valley.
General Manager Vaughan Macdonald said Council was in the early process of documenting this damage in order to apply for disaster assistance from the NSW Government.
“The damage is quite severe in some areas, particularly on the unsealed road network, which is 530km long,” Mr Macdonald said.
“Council has three road inspection crews working full-time to document the impacts of the storms and prioritise repairs.
“At this stage we are estimating around $2 million in damage to the road network, particularly in low-lying areas which were inundated and also in steeper terrain where heavy runoff has created issues.”
“The inspection process could take up to three months to complete, so we are asking for the community’s patience.
Mr Macdonald said it was vital that the Richmond Valley was declared a natural disaster zone so State Government funding could be made available to repair the road network.
“More than 50 local government areas in NSW have been declared natural disaster zones following this month’s storms.
“While the Richmond Valley local government area has not yet been formally declared, our neighbours in Lismore and the Clarence Valley have, and we are optimistic that we will be as well.
“It requires significant evidence and documentation and Council is unable to start remediation work until that confirmation from the NSW Government.
“It’s important that we document the damage to the road network properly so our ratepayers are not forced to foot the bill.
“Where we identify urgent safety issues on the road network we will act make repairs as soon as possible.”
Residents are asked to call Council’s customer service line on 6660 0300 to report any damage to Council infrastructure.