February 2nd 2010
$250,000 estimated for Horseshoe damage
$250,000 will be spent at Horseshoe Bay according to Townsville Mayor Les Tyrell at a press conference yesterday, following the damage wrought by wild weather from ex-tropical cyclone Olga combined with king tides over the weekend.
According to the Mayor's Office yesterday, damage to the Horseshoe Bay boat ramp is in the order of $200,000. However, Council will be inspecting the boat ramp and other infrastructure in more detail this week to ascertain the level of damage.
A spokesperson for the Mayor said, "We have had no reports of major road damage on Magnetic Island. Over the past year, crews have resealed a number of roads and streets on the island which has helped to minimise damage.
Co-ordinator of the Horseshoe Bay Community Markets (which are usually held on the now-damaged foreshore on the last Sunday of each month but presently in recess), Ms Di Mackie, told Magnetic Times, "It was the worst I've ever seen it at Horseshoe Bay in 28 years. I've never seen Horseshoe Bay trashed like it was on Sunday."
As for the destroyed new boat ramp, Di Mackie said, "They should have left the rocks from the old boat ramp. The concrete from the new boat ramp was totally demolished."
In response to a Magnetic Times question, regarding the destruction of the new boat ramp while the old ramp beside it remained in place, the spokesperson said that, "...the boat ramp was built to the standards set down by Queensland Transport."
The old boat ramp remains
Photo: Sylvia Hayes
Di Mackie thought that between one quarter and a half of Gerry Kearns Park (west of the boat ramp) had gone but related a story that her son Jett, had managed to save a $5000 dugong sign from the raging surf on Sunday.
Damage and loss at Gerry Kearns ParkPhoto: Pat Trewin
But Di Mackie was "Absolutely pleased" with the work of Townsville City Council staff. "The boys got right into it yesterday. By 10.30am, when I arrived, they had done a tremendous amount of work chopping up the huge trees that went down," and added, "Hopefully it wont be a long before it's looking nice again".
But given the loss of foreshore some seaside stall areas may, according to Di Mackie, need to be relocated.
While Horseshoe Bay took a major pounding on Sunday when high winds pushed a 4.07m king tide smashing into the foreshore, Radical Bay which faces in a similar direction was also punished.
Radical Bay at the height of the king tide
Photo: Paul Groves
A 24-lot gated community is planned for Radical Bay by Juniper Developers and expert reports provided recently to Council make assurances that the developement is a safe distance from the water's edge. But as photos requested from QPWS show, during Sunday's tide it was clear that the surf repeatedly overtopped the vegetated foredune and flowed many metres inland.
Radical Bay during the king tide.
Photos courtesy QPWS
As this event, which was only a wind-assisted king tide and not a cyclonic storm surge, could make such inroads one might wonder what distances inland a category 4 or 5 cyclone might achieve. A question no doubt being considered by many other residents in beach front locations along the cyclone-prone Queensland coast.
Story: George Hirst
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