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Storm Clean-Up A Credit To Local Councils

By Marcus Braid on May 29, 2015 in News

Photo: Waverley Council

Photo: Waverley Council

The enormous storms seen throughout Sydney’s Eastern Beaches were unprecedented in their ferocity, but they didn’t stop the local councils from quickly cleaning up the mess.

Sydney was swamped with severe storms from April 20-22, in addition to further inclement weather throughout the month.

Jordan Burrows, licensee and general manager of The Bucket List at Bondi Beach, said the bar couldn’t trade for four days.

“We had to stop trading at 3pm on Monday and we opened doors again on Friday,” he said.

“We couldn’t even open the front doors because of the speed of the wind. We have quite a lot of water damage through the place.”

Mr Burrows paid tribute to Waverley Council, who helped ensure almost 7,000 tonnes of sand was put back on Bondi Beach with the help of four bobcats, four excavators and a bulldozer.

“It was awesome,” he said. “The council was straight onto it; literally as soon as the rain cleared, they were straight in with heavy machinery. They did a great job.”

A spokesperson for Waverley Council said waves caused minor structural damage to the promenade at the southern end of Bronte Beach, and some damage to large ficus trees near Bronte Road in Bronte Gully.

Rod Sen, owner of Barzura at the southern end of Coogee Beach, said Bronte and Coogee copped an unprecedented pounding from the elements.

“Right up the back of Bronte Park there were big old trees that have just been split in half by the storm,” he said.

“I’ve never seen anything with the ferocity and the direction. Normally there might even be a little bit of east in it. This was almost south south west and it just blew straight up and took over the beach and deposited it on Beach Street. This was the first time we’ve seen the storm move in that direction.”

But Mr Sen said Barzura is positioned in a perfect position to deal with severe storms.

“Barzura is an amazing place to go in winter, because of the southerlies,” he said.

“We have a ringside seat for storms, and they go straight past the surf club. You can actually still sit outside Barzura on a lot of those days.”

A rare species of jellyfish was seen at Wylie’s Baths, which scared the heck out of Mr Sen.

“It was dwelling a metre below the surface,” he said.

“It sent a lifeguard’s sister into shock, and she was hospitalised. It must have blown in from the Cook Islands or somewhere in the deep South Pacific. I’m personally allergic to jellyfish and bluebottles can kill me. The thought of a new jellyfish was terrifying.”

A spokesperson for Randwick Council, which did a superb job in the clean-up, estimates the clean-up bill is $250,000 at this stage.

“We had dozens of crews working across the city clearing trees, unblocking gutters and drains and making areas safe,” the spokesperson said.

“We had 12 machines working on Coogee Beach… to move thousands of tonnes of sand back onto the beach off the promenade and surrounding parks and streets.”

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