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Evacuations begin as south coast residents choose to stay or go

Michael Weaver2 January 2020

Motorists line up for fuel at the Caltex service station at Moruya on 2 January. Photo: Lisa Herbert.

“I don’t know what to do, I feel like I might be making a mistake, but that’s better than making the mistake of staying,” says a Moruya Heads resident as she heads south to make her way to Canberra this morning (2 January).

This comment sums up the thoughts of many who are today choosing whether to stay or go ahead of fire authorities predicting severe fire conditions along the entire NSW south coast on Saturday.

South Coast fire update

Visitors to the South Coast are being urged to leave in the strongest possible terms before extreme conditions return on Friday and Saturday. Roads north and south are mostly now open and fuel is available as power comes back on. The scale of the disaster continues to unfold with seven confirmed deaths. Genevieve Jacobs has the latest news.

Posted by About Regional on Wednesday, 1 January 2020

Power is back on and most petrol stations should be open.

Bodalla resident Jo Rugg said there are long queues for petrol at Coila, south of Moruya.

“Moruya is being evacuated but no one can get out. There are lots of people at Gundary Oval in Moruya,” Ms Rugg said.

Narooma early this morning

The town of Narooma early this morning (2 January). Photo: Jo Rugg.

The Eurobodalla Shire Council is urging all visitors to leave the area as soon as possible. “It is in their best interests and the best interests of the community,” the Council said in a statement this morning.

“For residents, it’s a choice to stay or go.

“If leaving, we recommend going today or tomorrow before conditions worsen on Saturday and while roads are open. If staying, RFS advice is to move to larger towns.”

George Bass Drive between Batehaven and Moruya has reopened this morning after being closed. Alternating stop/slow traffic conditions may be in place at various locations along George Bass Dr between Beach Rd and the Princes Highway. Exercise caution, drive to the conditions and follow the direction of emergency crews on site.

The route south is: From Tomakin, travel south via George Bass Drive to Moruya. From Moruya, the Princes Highway is open to Bermagui. Take the Bermagui turn-off and travel via coast road to Tathra and on to Bega. These detours are signposted. Work continues to open the Princes Highway between Bermagui turn-off and Bega. The Snowy Mountains Highway, Brown Mountain, is open for travel to Canberra and west.

The route north is: From Batemans Bay, the Princes Highway is open through to Sydney. From Moruya, the Princes Highway remains closed between Moruya and Batemans Bay.

Please travel calmly, drive with your lights on, obey any traffic control.

Fire conditions have eased due to weather conditions yesterday and today. Saturday’s conditions are forecast to be as bad as New Year’s Eve on Tuesday.

Fires Near Me and Live Traffic are up to date.

Essential Energy is staging return of power to the shire, starting last night (1 January) and to main towns first. Power infrastructure in rural areas is badly damaged and will take some time to restore.

Eurobodalla’s town water supply is safe to drink.

Updates will be provided if the situation changes.

To stay up to date on bush fires in your area call the NSW RFS Bush Fire Information Line on 1800 679 737 or check the NSW RFS website. For road reports and updates visit Live Traffic NSW.

Use the Register.Find.Unite service to register your location, and find and reunite with family, friends and loved ones after an emergency. For a list of evacuation centres visit Disaster Assistance.

What's Your Opinion?

7 Responses to Evacuations begin as south coast residents choose to stay or go

Lyndell Allen Lyndell Allen 9:26 pm 02 Jan 20

They expect the whole south coast to evacuate on one road .. currently 85km gridlock heading to Canberra

Terry McDonough Terry McDonough 3:41 pm 02 Jan 20

But the roads are closed! Friends currently stuck this side Ulladulla in a carpark.

Gina Woodward Gina Woodward 11:59 am 02 Jan 20

If you have a choice, leave, just leave. It's only Jan 2 and look what has happened since NYE... if you stay then the choice may be taken away from you - fires and/or road closures. :(

    Aranyani Laura Gateley Aranyani Laura Gateley 12:06 pm 02 Jan 20

    Gina Woodward my god yes. People need to go if & while they can.

    Ruth Stanbury Ruth Stanbury 1:01 pm 02 Jan 20

    Gina Woodward totally agree. Please go! It’s not worth the risk, especially with forecasts for tomorrow.

Chevelle Wilkes Chevelle Wilkes 11:05 am 02 Jan 20

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1639155472891471/?ref=share

    Chevelle Wilkes Chevelle Wilkes 11:06 am 02 Jan 20

    There is a site set up for free emergency accomodation in Canberra for people and pets

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