WINGHAM SES co-ordinated emergency food drops to around eight properties isolated in the Caparra area after two bridges were washed away by floods.
A helicopter landed in Central Park on Wednesday and flew to a Caparra property to deliver the supplies. It took a number of trips throughout the week.
Goldsmith Bridge and Granny Fahey Bridge on Caparra Road have both been damaged by floodwaters leaving a number of households stranded for days.
Residents above Goldsmith Bridge can make it out, but are forced to take the long way around through Dingo Tops.
However, a number of properties between the two bridges were stranded and had been for some time.
Deputy controller of Wingham SES, Lyn Adams said most of the people in the affected area are usually well prepared for isolation and have stocked up on supplies, but after two weeks of flooding, they were in need of extra assistance.
“That’s what we’re here for,” she said.
SES crew member George Sheldon accompanied the helicopter pilot and crew to Caparra to deliver supplies and said much of the water has subsided.
“Everything looks pretty normal, you can just see all the dirt from where the water has been,” he said.
George added that from the air he could see Goldsmith Bridge had been ripped away and washed more than a kilometre down river.
Greater Taree City Council plans for Granny Fahey Bridge to be the first bridge constructed.
Penetration tests were carried out where the missing abutment has been torn from the bank by floodwater.
“Large remnants of the old bridge structure are still attached and provide a barrier to constructing a new abutment. This has only been apparent as the water has receded,” a GTCC spokesman said.
A large excavator will be needed to work on site to excavate to bedrock and remove the old structure. This will allow a mass rock and concrete abutment to be constructed. A timber deck will then be constructed between the abutments.
It’s anticipated that construction will be completed and vehicular access available by March 18
A similar approach will be taken to Goldsmiths Bridge. Council needs to inspect a bridge between Granny Faheys and Goldsmith to see if required heavy equipment can get across that bridge or if repairs will be required first. This will be ascertained next week while Granny Fahey Bridge is being constructed.
In the meantime residents remain isolated and will be assisted by the SES.
Lyn said the Wingham SES was busy with back-to-back callouts and jobs for the last three weeks, associated with the wild and wet weather.
“Exhaustion is setting in,” she said.
The crew was appreciative of an SES team that came from Wollongong to relieve the local members last Tuesday night allowing them some much needed rest.