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HomeLatest NewsBeaches among worst hit in 2022 storm season

Beaches among worst hit in 2022 storm season

The Northern Beaches was one of the areas hardest hit by the storms and heavy rainfall that caused chaos across NSW earlier this year, according to new figures released by the NRMA. Thankfully, subsequent weather systems in winter were less damaging for our area.

The figures show that across NSW, the Northern Beaches recorded the second highest number of claims for home and motor insurance in autumn 2022, 5.9 per cent of all claims, with Manly named the third highest in claims across the Northern Beaches behind Beacon Hill and Seaforth. The North Shore had the highest claims as a region while predictably the town of Ballina had the highest number of claims for any single town or suburb.

Northern Beaches suburbs hardest hit by wild weather this autumn (home and motor claims):

  1. Beacon Hill
  2. Seaforth
  3. Manly
  4. Balgowlah
  5. Cromer
  6. Frenchs Forest and Newport – equal
  7. Freshwater
  8. Belrose
  9. North Narrabeen
NRMA insurance claims for Autumn 2022.


Corner of Pittwater Rd and Oliver St, Manly during the March 2022 storms. Photo: Manly SES/Facebook

Commander of the NSW State Emergency Service Manly Unit, Charles Hellewell, told Manly Observer that the unit had experienced its busiest period on record during the storm period this year.

“Going back to January this year we’ve done nearly 400 jobs, which is more than we would do in an entire year,” Mr Hellewell said.

“We have a pretty strong capability at our unit so we are continuing to grow that capability in support of the community. At the moment we haven’t been overly strained but it has been a very full on six months.

Commander of the NSW State Emergency Service Manly Unit, Charles Hellewell. Photo: Kim Smee

“The most common jobs we attended to were trees or wind causing damage to houses. And as a result of that we have to attend and remove the tree to make it safe for the residents or repair rooves to stop water ingress into the property.

A resident sent us this picture of their street near Balgowlah Road Manly/Manly Vale while asking where the nearest evacuation centre was during the flash floods of March 2022.

“We’ve had that across most of the Northern Beaches. In April and May with the heavy rainfall we’ve had quite a lot of flash flooding.”

The Northern Beaches area escaped much of the flash flooding from the recent east coast low, with local SES crews responding mostly to fallen tree and damaged roof incidents.

A ute takes a hit from a fallen tree in Hilmer Street in Frenchs Forest during mid-winter wet.
SES Warringah/Pittwater responds to yet another fallen tree onto a vehicle in early July.

The NRMA also released results of its autumn Wild Weather Tracker, which surveyed 1,000 NSW residents to determine the best and least prepared regions in NSW.

Some of the findings include:

  •  79% of NSW residents are worried wild weather is becoming more frequent and severe (up from 65% 12 months ago)
  • 80% believe climate change is making wild weather worse (up from 70% 12 months ago)
  • 57% are concerned about their home, car or other property being damaged by wild weather in the next 12 months
  • 37% of NSW residents say they don’t feel prepared to respond if severe weather hits their suburb – this means more than 1.13 million households don’t feel prepared

Below: Footage from our instagram showing the destruction from Autumn storms in 2022 on the Northern Beaches.

It also reveals that residents of the Northern Beaches rank themselves among the least prepared in NSW for wild weather (8th best prepared region) – despite the region’s self-assessed wild weather ready score rising to 60/100.

Mr Hellewell urged Beaches residents to be better prepared for storms so any damage, and potential rescue scenarios, could be minimised.

“One thing we continue to remind  residents is to not drive through floodwater even if they think it’s only shallow – it’s a common occurrence,” he said.

“For example down Kenneth and Balgolwlah Road, which regularly floods, people get stuck in those flood waters and then we need to rescue them.

“We encourage the community to make preparations ahead of forecast bad weather, such as don’t park under trees when the bad weather is coming. People are also complacent in apartments where we’ve had tables and chairs blown off balconies damaging properties and rooves, so people need to tie those things down if they can’t bring them inside.”

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Manly Observer is an experiment in providing non-sensationalist hyperlocal news on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. We cover the big news across the LGA, but with a hyper focus on the Manly electorate encompassing Balgowlah, Seaforth, Freshwater, Brookvale and Curl Curl up to Dee Why. It is run by those living in the community for the benefit of an informed community. We care about an informed and connected community. That’s it. Simple. Thank you for your support in keeping quality local news alive!

Kim Smee, Editor

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