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Storm Clean Up

Latest Updates - 10 February 2017

From May to October 2016 the southern regions of South Australia were impacted by record-breaking storm events, with extremely high winds and rainfall recorded. 

This 1-in-50 year event affected the Alexandrina region’s environment and infrastructure, along with Council’s ability to undertake maintenance and improvement work. During the storm events “business as usual” activities were put on hold while Council supported both the emergency services and the community. This required using all available resources for work such as flood mitigation, stormwater management, tree clearance and safety and access repair work. 

There was considerable damage within Council’s 1,300km of road network with a majority of the damage occurring on unsealed roads where scouring and washing out of roads was the most common issue. 

There was also significant damage to assets including:

  • Cleland Gully Road culvert
  • Gilbert Siding Road culvert
  • Winery Road culvert
  • Port Elliot Soldiers Memorial Gardens retaining wall
  • Pedestrian footbridges in Middleton and Strathalbyn Soldiers Memorial Gardens
  • Old swimming pool structure Strathalbyn Soldiers Memorial Gardens
  • Beach Access steps on Handby Street Port Elliot
  • Extensive washing out of fords and verges on many roads

The assessment of this damage will take time to complete and it is expected that access to some of these locations will be restricted for a few months. Funding for these repairs still needs to be considered by Council, which may mean the reprioritising of current programs.  

Latest Updates

Roads and Footpaths

Condition assessments have been completed across the Council’s 1,300km road network, with damage relating to the storm events identified on both sealed and unsealed roads. Some 48km of the road network is assessed to have been directly impacted by the storm events. The damage has included scouring across roads, washing out and collapsed verges and significant loss of material. With the re-evaluation of the damaged roads within the Council’s Asset Management Framework, prioritisation and costing of the damage is currently being finalised. Council is still not in a position to repair all damage as funding options are being considered and financial support is being requested from State Government. For our next steps please see the financial impacts information below. Minor repairs are continuing across the network in order to ensure access is maintained.

Infrastructure

Over 30 stormwater and bridge assets have been visually inspected and assessed, with 15 of these assets being identified as having storm related damage. Some of these assets have been significantly damaged and basic information signage has been installed at these locations. As with the road network Council is still not in a position to repair all damage as funding options are being considered and financial support is being requested from State Government. For our next steps please see the financial impacts information below.

Parks and Reserves

The catch up of the three month backlog of maintenance on the Council’s 200-plus, 154 hectares, of parks and reserves is continuing. With Fire Danger Season now in operation Council has been working on weekends to assist in clearing the maintenance backlog.

Financial impact and funding considerations

Due to the magnitude of the damage and the potential cost of repairs Council is seeking financial support from the State Government through the Local Government Disaster Recovery Assistance program. This requires Council to have an independent engineering assessment carried out on all storm related damage before a submission can be made for financial support. The 'onground' independent engineering assessment has recently been completed and council are now awaiting the final report before applying for financial support from the State Government. Council is continuing to consider the funding of repair work in line with existing budgets and due to the likely significant costs of the damage, reallocation of budgets may need to occur over the next couple of years.