“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.
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.
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.
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.