Blue Mountains News

Evacuations and emergency food drops at Megalong Valley, following landslide

By Blue Mountains City Council
Posted: 9 Apr 2024
A drone photo of the damaged Megalong Road.
An evacuation of approximately 200 visitors trapped in the Megalong Valley is almost complete, after a landslide closed Megalong Road on Friday night.

The rescue, coordinated by police, commenced on Sunday afternoon through a temporary route running across private properties at the back of Mount Blackheath via Centennial Glenn. 

Council, with assistance from the Rural Fire Service (RFS), also coordinated an emergency food drop into the valley on Monday afternoon. Food, fuel and essential supplies are being dropped into the valley via helicopter.

Work is also ongoing to assess the damaged section of Megalong Road, which is approximately 600metres south of Shipley Road.  Megalong Road remains closed to vehicle and pedestrian access and people are reminded to avoid the area.

After a geotechnical assessment of the badly damaged road, work has begun to redirect the water from the landslip site to stop water undermining the area, which could result in further slippage. 

Options for road remediation and access are still being explored and are subject to safety assessments.

Council continues to work with key agencies, including emergency services and State-based supporting agencies to activate the response to the Megalong Rd landslide and support the community.

A total of 190 visitors were evacuated from the valley in the past two days, with the remaining visitors expected to be evacuated shortly.

Blue Mountains Mayor, Cr Mark Greenhill said: “Thank you to all involved in this rescue effort. Many have worked non-stop to make this happen.

“Our thoughts remain with the community and visitors, who are our priority, and we are continuing to support them as a matter of urgency through this difficult time.

“This is having a massive financial impact on businesses, and we will be lobbying the federal and state governments for financial support for the roughly 200 residents plus businesses in the Megalong Valley.”

The flooding event on 5 April has been declared a natural disaster. Disaster assistance is now available for Blue Mountains residents, including those impacted in the Megalong Valley.

Support includes:

  • Assistance for eligible residents to help meet immediate needs like emergency accommodation or small cash payments to purchase essential items generally provided from evacuation or recovery centres.
  • Grants for eligible residents to replace lost essential household items to maintain basic standard of living.
  • Grants for eligible residents to undertake essential structural repairs to restore their homes to a safe and habitable condition.
  • Concessional interest rate loans for small businesses, primary producers, sporting and recreation clubs, and non-profit organisations to repair or replace damaged or destroyed property.
  • Freight subsidies for primary producers to help transport livestock and fodder.

 

Council’s dedicated Community Liaison Officer is taking requests from the Megalong Community in regards to urgent needs.  Please email .

Council is also assessing broader damage across the City following the severe weather event.

Mitchells Pass near Emu Plains is also closed after the road shoulder collapsed from the heavy rains. Motorists are advised to use Bathurst Road instead.

Council and RFS officers preparing for the helicopter drop of emergency supplies, into the Megalong Valley
 
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