MidCoast Council crews continue to work through a large clean-up schedule following the severe storm event of December 20, which left debris across road verges, parks and reserves.
With the damage widespread across the MidCoast region, it is expected the clean-up work will take approximately three months and cost in the vicinity of $350,000.
While council was able to access some natural disaster funding from the state government, this only applies to the clearing of debris from roads and road verges, not debris in parks and on community land.
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“The immediate priority in the days following the event was to remove traffic hazards from roads and make parks and reserve safe,” council’s Paul De Szell said.
Since then, council has been steadily completing clean-up jobs on a priority basis around the region.
Road and road verge clean-up has been prioritised based on the volume of debris at each site, the traffic volume and the hazard to motorists. The work is also focusing on removing fallen trees and limbs that are impacting on drainage or have the potential to cause other issues.
Debris in parks and on community land, which has to be removed at a cost to council, is prioritised according to safety first, and thereafter scheduled to be undertaken where and when resources can be allocated.
“Clearing parks will also be an incremental process as we prioritise the work and engage contractors to carry out the removal of affected trees, limbs and vegetation,” Mr De Szell said.
“Council work schedules for outdoor teams cannot incorporate time for unforeseen events such as storms, so clean-ups invariably create a challenge in allocating enough staff to undertake the work.”
With no external funding sources for this clean-up activity, this work will come at considerable cost to council.
The community is reminded that council will not be picking up piles of green waste placed by residents on median strips throughout the area, and other arrangements need to be made to dispose of this waste correctly.
If the storm caught you unaware and unprepared at home, it might be a good time to review what to do before, during and after emergency events.
Visit www.midcoast.nsw.gov.au/emergency and follow the links to prepare your household for fires, floods and storms.
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