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HomeNewsNorthern Beaches declared disaster area but faring better than feared; flood waters...

Northern Beaches declared disaster area but faring better than feared; flood waters recede; disaster payments available

The Northern Beaches has been declared a disaster area among 22 other local government areas as the east coast low dumped 733mm of rain in the Sydney basin since Friday, 1 July. The flood waters have now begun to recede in the Sydney area, though rain continues throughout the next week and wet ground will mean trees could continue to fall.

Disaster Relief Payments for Northern Beaches residents

A one-off payment for people severely affected by floods in New South Wales, of $1,000 for adults and $400 for children, will be made available from tomorrow 7 July. It is only for those severely impacted (eg not minor water damage) but those living on the Northern Beaches are eligible now that the area has been included as a disaster area.

This is a federal announcement and information on the payments, and other initiatives are best sourced via the recovery website: https://recovery.gov.au/NSWflood

There will be more information provided on the Services Australia website by tomorrow afternoon, we understand. Note this is different to the Services NSW app.

How badly have we been affected?

While being declared a disaster area, the NSW SES Manly Unit has reported a lower impact to residents and infrastructure than the previous flood event in March this year.

This time the greater impact has been from the heavy winds knocking down numerous trees throughout the local government area.

Deputy Media Liaison Officer for the Manly Unit, Wendy Camelloti, told Manly Observer that the Manly, Warringah and Pittwater NSW SES units responded to 111 requests for assistance between Friday and Monday, mostly for fallen trees and leaking rooves.

A tree down on Hilmer Street in Frenchs Forest

A ute takes a hit from a fallen tree in Hilmer Street in Frenchs Forest.

Ms Camelloti praised local residents for being prepared for the bad weather this time ’round.

“We’ve had mainly trees coming down and rooves leaking, but primarily we’ve been really happy with the community getting themselves ready by getting sandbagging done,” she said.

Local SES units prepare sand bags on the weekend.

“Northern Beaches Council has been great in dumping sand at Curl Curl and Narrabeen for the SES to keep replenishing the sandbags there. It’s made a huge difference to the number of callouts and damage which has been a lot less.”

The rain and bad weather forced the SES to close a number of roads over the weekend including Marine Parade (North Steyne) at Manly, Quirk Road at Manly Vale and Wakehurst Parkway between Narrabeen and Oxford Falls.

Between 1 and 4 July, the Manly area recorded 101.8mm of rain, which is more than the total monthly July average of 60.2mm.

Flooding closed parts of North Steyne in Manly on Saturday.

“It didn’t hit us as bad as we had thought,” Ms Camelloti said. We’ve been lucky.”

“I’d like to praise Northern Beaches Council and Manly Hydraulics Lab. Council has been keeping us informed constantly of their modelling, and Manly Hydraulics Lab has been keeping us informed on measurements of Manly Dam and the lagoon.

SES Warringah/Pittwater responds to yet another fallen tree onto a vehicle on the weekend.

While better than expected, there are still many homes heavily impacted by the rain and wind and the weekend was not without its drama.

Dramatic rescue at Narrabeen

Duncan Schieb, who is a member of the South Narrabeen Surf Club, was attending the club’s annual general meeting (AGM) on Sunday at 2pm when he witnessed two men on a jetski racing through the very rough seas outside the club. After both fell off the jetski, club members rescued one of them immediately while another spent nearly an hour in the water before being rescued by the Westpac helicopter.

The Westpac Reacue Helicopter prepares to winch a fallen jet skier to safety at Narrabeen.

“We saw a couple of people on the jetski thinking how idiotic it was. Then the driver came off and the passenger also, while the driver was stuck out in the ocean. We called in the Westpac helicopter which eventually got him.

“It was a silly thing to do in the conditions and he (the driver) was in the water for about 40 minutes, but it all ended well.”


The view from the Westpac helicopter as they rescue a jet skier in his 20s who decided to go out during a severe weather warning on the weekend.

The Bureau of Meteorology reports the weather event has now moved north and is hitting the central and northern coast of NSW.  Stay up to date with weather warnings via the Bureau’s website. 

Pothole problems

Many of the Northern Beaches roads already affected by potholes have become worse.  A number of these are main roads which are the State not Council responsibility. You can report these here.

Vehicles damaged on State roads because of a pot hole may be eligible for for a public liability claim. That link can be found here.

Support quality local news

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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