March 20, 2013

Just over a week to go until Easter 2013

What will the weather bring for the 2013 Easter long weekend and school holidays on the Gold Coast? We have a look at the updated long-term forecast information with just over a week to go until Good Friday, and count the cost of the damage caused by Ex-Tropical Cyclone Oswald.

Update 26/03/13: Now with just days to go, will it be a wet Easter and are the GC beaches ready to go? Southeast Coast district 28-day Rainfall Forecast issued 20 March 2013
Since our last Easter 2013 weather outlook on the 11th March, the updated 28-day Rainfall Forecast for the Southeast Coast district as at the 20th March is still looking like we'll have a wet lead up to Good Friday with a medium chance of rainfall, and a low chance of rainfall on Saturday.

However Sunday has now dropped 'Nil' chance of rainfall (which is less than 25%) and Easter Monday will have a low chance and Wednesday with a medium chance. Tuesday & Thursday remain relatively rain free.

Don't forget though these are just these long-term forecasts and not 'fact-casts' and could change greatly over the next two weeks.

Counting the cost of severe weather

According to the City of Gold Coast media release, the damages bill to restore essential public assets in the wake of Ex-Tropical Cyclone Oswald has been estimated at more than $6.6 million, with final costs yet to be assessed. The figure does not include damage to the city’s beaches. 

A report to Council’s Engineering Services Committee today detailed the city’s response to the weather event and outlined the significant impacts that were experienced between 25 January and 1 February. 

These included: 
  • property damage caused by strong winds,heavy rain and flooding
  • closure of and damage to transport infrastructure (such as roads, footpaths, bridges and culverts)
  • closure of the city’s libraries and some schools
  • loss of power to more than 28,000 properties 
  • disruption to communication infrastructure
  • disruption to public transport timetables 
  • damage to social and recreational assets 
  • significant erosion of the beaches and associated infrastructure 
  • significant impacts within catchments from debris and damage to infrastructure such as jetties and pontoons. 
As Chair of Council’s Local Disaster Management Group, Mayor Tom Tate authorised assistance to Moreton Bay Regional Council (300 beds and bedding) and the Scenic Rim Regional Council (equipment and crews for tree removal as well as incident management staff for operations coordination). 

 Engineering Services Committee Chair, Councillor Daphne McDonald said that while reports of the damage were still being received and action yet to be taken in some areas, the city would be eligible to recoup some costs through the State’s Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA).

“Today’s report estimates that about $4.1 million can be claimed for restoration of essential public assets, such as bridges, roads, foreshore assets (such as walkways), with a further $218,000 for Counter Disaster operational costs,” she said. “That leaves Council with a net bill of more than $2.2 million to date, with more damages yet to be assessed. “Council has up to two years from the event to make repairs and reclaim expenses under the NDRRA.”

Mayor Tom Tate said that while Council was already aware of some costs from the weather events, it was clear the costs to the city would be considerably higher. “As Mayor, I will be lobbying both the State and Federal Governments to maximise any assistance possible,” he said.

Nobbys Beach receives sand from development site

Work has started on the 11th March to deliver sand from a Surfers Paradise building development site to the beach in front of Nobby's Beach Surf Lifesaving Club.

Mayor Tom Tate said about 8000 cubic metres of sand was being provided at no cost to Council as a condition of a building development application for an Elkhorn Avenue site.

“Given the ongoing beach access issues at the Nobby's SLSC, it was decided to put the sand here as a cost-effective, interim solution,” he said.

“The first 10 cubic metre load of sand left the site early this morning to be sieved at the Nobbys Beach Surf club site before it is placed on the beach.”

The sand will be moved over a four-week period, by trucks each carrying 10 cubic metres. About 700-800 cubic metres of sand will be moved each day.

Easter Public Holidays:

Within Queensland, the following dates are set as Public Holidays (from the Queensland Department of Justice and Attorney-General) :

Good Friday: Friday 29 March 2013
Easter Saturday: Saturday 30 March 2013
Easter Monday: Monday 1 April

What about the next 7 days?

Here's the latest 7-day forecast for the Gold Coast from the Bureau of Meteorology: