2 January 2020

Evacuations begin as south coast residents choose to stay or go

| Michael Weaver
Join the conversation

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.

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.

Join the conversation

All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments

Daily Digest

Do you like to know what’s happening around your region? Every day the About Regional team packages up our most popular stories and sends them straight to your inbox for free. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.