Floods devastate northern NSW

07 Apr 2017

North-eastern NSW has experienced the worst flooding in decades, in the wake of tropical Cyclone Debbie. The Water Directorate acknowledges the massive task confronting local water utilities during the clean-up of inundated towns and rural areas.

In the following media release from Tweed Shire Council, Director of Engineering David Oxenham – a member of the Water Directorate Executive Committee - lists the losses and challenges that Tweed Shire and many Councils are now facing.


Council is working to assess the damage to its road and bridge assets to prioritise repairs and get the community back on the road.

Until crews can travel every road, the information provided may not be complete.

“It takes time to get clarity around information in emergency situations but Council is working really hard to get across the damage to our network and advise the community,” said Director Engineering David Oxenham.

“Our task has been made even harder this time as we lost an estimated 90 per cent of our fleet to the flood.

“We know we have sustained major damage to many roads and have lost at least two bridges and possibly a third and sustained major damage to three others.

“While we urge motorists to take extreme care on the roads, we particularly stress not to cross any damaged bridge.”


The following is the status of our road network as known at 9am Monday 3 April.

Byrrill Creek Road – closed at both ends (near Kyogle at the bridge and near Tyalgum).

Byrrill Creek Bridge - washed away. Road approaches washed away. 4WD only and very rough. Informal ferry service operating.

Buringbar Road, Shackles Bridge – washed away. Council will drop rock in the creek today so Essential Energy vehicles can get in to restore power to the community.

Cedar Creek Bridge - reported washed away but no access to verify.
Clothiers Creek Road, between M1 and Tweed Valley Way – Closed - significant top and bottom slips.

Carool Road, Coorool. Landslip near school. Passable but dangerous and multiple hazards.

Couchy Creek Road, Numinbah – Closed. Landslip.

Cudgera Creek Road – closed by landslips at both ends. Council will be there today. Small vehicles can get through with extreme care. No larger vehicles.

Dunbible Bridge – open and clear.

Eviron Road, Condong, near cemetery - dirt over road but passable.
Garden of Eden Road, Tomewin - landslip.

Glengarrie Road, Glengarrie – Council working to clear landslip today.
Kirbys Road, Limpinwood. Landslip.

Kyogle Road – trafficable to the shire boundary but only just. Contractors working to clear today.

Limpinwood Road, between Tyalgum and Chillingham – One lane open.
Mt Warning Road, Mt Warning – Closed. Reported major damage. Slip on other side of caravan park. Isolated residents should be able to walk through slip area with care. Council still cannot get access to assess.
Nobbys Creek Road, Boatharbour Bridge, North Arm – Major damage. One lane open. Crew working on it today.

North Arm Road, North Arm - one lane open. Landslip.

Palmvale Road, Palmvale - Closed. Temporary road around roadworks washed away. New culverts good. Expect temporary fix 2-3 days.

Piggabeen to Cobaki – Bridge No 155. Major damage. Dangerous. Should not cross.

Riverside Drive, Tumbulgum – one lane.

South Murwillumbah Levee - multiple breaks.

South Pumpinbil Road, Pumpinbil - Closed. Bridge abutment undermined. 3-metre wide track through. Small cars only.

Spring Valley Road, Cudgera – Contractors working to clear today.

Tomewin Road, Kynnumboon - Passable but dangerous. Multiple landslips and overhanging trees.

Tweed Valley Way Tumbulgum – Closed. Under water.

Tweed Valley Way at Greenhills, South Murwillumbah – One lane open on temporary repair. Take extra care.

Upper Crystal Creek Road, Upper Crystal Creek – Landslip.

Urliup Road, Bilambil to Dulguigan - Closed in multiple locations. Road washed away. 100m section missing. Open from Bilambil to major causeway before the bridge. Murwillumbah end closed and expect to be closed for several months. Contractors in there today, Monday 3 April 2017, to try to establish a track through.

All water supplies are operational.

Boiled water alerts have been lifted for South Murwillumbah south of Blacks Drain (Greenhills Lodge) and Uki BUT all residents are advised to run all internal taps until the water clears before consuming. If your water doesn’t clear or is dirty, please contact Council on 6670 2400.

People with water tanks (not on reticulated supply): If your tank was inundated by floodwaters and compromised, you are advised not to drink the water. We advise you will need to empty the tank, get it cleaned and disinfected and then get tanker supply.

All sewer systems are operating except for about half the village of Tumbulgum. Vacuum trucks are
in there now working on the Riverside Lane side. It may take up to two days to become fully operational.

Areas affected by flooding are:

  • Lismore
  • Kingscliff
  • Tweed Heads
  • Murwillumbah
  • Cabbage Tree Island
  • Chinderah, Fingal Head and Bilambil
  • South Murwillumbah and Condong
  • New Brighton
  • Ocean Shores
  • Kyogle
  • Billinudgel
  • Tweed Heads West and South
  • Tumbulgum
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