Sandbags available for Gold Coasters in preparation for Cyclone Oma

The Gold Coast Council has activated sandbagging to help locals prepare for the worst, as Cyclone Oma nears the coast.

It comes after the Weather Bureau issued its first Cyclone Watch, in it’s 11.07am update of the system’s tracking.

Council has machines at work filling sandbags, which will be made available to Gold Coast locals from various sites, including depots at Coomera, Reedy Creek and Tugun.

“Planning is everything, so if mother nature should decide to come straight for the Gold Coast, we’ve got to be prepared for it,” Mayor Tate said.

Sandbagging underway. PHOTO | Supplied by City of Gold Coast

“Our heavy equipment is working flat out at Narrowneck to make sure that’s all completed in the next 24 hours, and activating sandbagging and the disaster management unit, now it’s a bit of a ‘wait and see’.

“All of our beaches are now closed, so if you want to swim, maybe put it off until another day.

“My attitude is that you never know when the big waves will come and you will end up in the water, no just endangering your life, but you’ll be endangering those rescuers lives who have to go and fish you out,” he said.

The Mayor also recommends everyone bring in their outdoor furniture, especially those who live in high rise apartments, and to keep an eye on pets.

For the latest tracking from BOM: First ‘Cyclone Watch’ issued for the Gold Coast in 29 years

 

Investigations underway after car drove off bridge into water on Gold Coast

Police are investigating after a car went off a bridge and into a creek in Norwell this morning.

Tow truck crews were on scene earlier this morning, working to free the vehicle which was partially submerged in the water.

It’s believed the vehicle drove off off a Norwell Road bridge into the creek around 6.00am.

Police say when they arrived on scene, no one was found in or near the vehicle, leading to speculation that the driver fled the scene.

Tow trucks arrived a short time later to remove the vehicle.

It’s believed paramedics weren’t called to the scene.

Police are urging anyone with information about the crash to come forward.

If you have information for Police, please contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using their online form 24 hours per day.

You can also report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers by calling 1800 333 000 or via crimestoppersqld.com.au 24 hours per day. Crime Stoppers is a registered charity and community volunteer organisation.

Male Swimming

51st Gold Coast Sports Star of the Year crowned tonight

Local athletes will gather at the Southport Sharks tonight, as The Gold Coast Sports Star of the Year is announced.

13 nominees, including Commonwealth Games gold medalists and reigning World Champions will turn out for the annual black tie event.

Now in it’s 51st year, the awards ceremony will celebrate the achievements of our city’s greatest athletes across a hugely successful year for Gold Coast sport.

Katrin Gardoot, Dani Stevens, Skye Nicolson, Kelsey Cottrell, Michael Shelley, Emma McKeon and Dominic Bedggood will be in attendance, following their gold medal performances at the Commonwealth Games.

They’ll be joined by the likes of Steph Gilmore, Toby Price, Ali Day, Shakira Westdorp, Mat Belcher and Elizabeth Forsyth.

Gold Coast Sporting Hall of Fame Chairwoman Daphne Pirie says the calibre of the contenders  reflects our city’s admirable sporting environment.

“The finalists for the Sports Star of the Year Awards showcase what a truly spectacular year 2018 was for sport in this city.

“The Awards celebrate the Gold Coast as a stand-out performer on the global sporting calendar, not only for the quality of athletes we produce, but as the host of numerous international events, and 2018 sets a new benchmark,” Ms Pirie said.

Former Sports Star of the Year winner and Hall of Fame member Wayne “Rabbit” Bartholomew said the Awards will once again help spur local athletes on to international success.

“I am so pleased to see the GC Sports Star Awards taking their rightful place as the night of nights for homegrown sporting icons and emerging stars,” Mr Batholomew said.

All Gold Coast beaches closed until further notice

Gold Coast lifeguards have closed all Gold Coast beaches, as the effects of Cyclone Oma start hitting our shores.

Cyclone Oma still remains a category 2 system, and as of 5.04am this morning, the Weather Bureau had it tracking in our direction, before taking a more northerly track up towards the Fraser Coast.

No matter which way Cyclone Oma tracks, Hazardous Surf Warnings and a Severe Weather Warnings are still in place until further notice, and we’re being told to expect worse conditions as we head into the weekend.

Despite all beaches being closed, Acting Chief Lifeguard Chris Maynard says it’s business as usual.

” All lifeguards are still stations along the 34 beaches that are patrolled from Rainbow Bay through to the Seaway.

“Lifeguards are still in position at the lifeguard towers, and they’ll be putting out any necessary signage so that there’s plenty of information that the beaches are closed.

“They’ll be trying to keep people clear of going into the water as the swell increases today,” Mr Maynard said.

 

Chris Maynard goes on to say that lifeguards predict the beaches will stay closed until further notice.

“The beaches will be closed for the next three days at least,” he said.

“Unless something changes dramatically, and the swell does drop out on Sunday, but more likely the beaches will be closed from today onwards.”

“Don’t take unnecessary risks, you can be caught out quite easily.

“You can get large powerful swells that rush up along the sand, and you can be knocked off your feet quite easily.

“Stay clear of the waterline,” Mr Maynard said.

PHOTO: Matt McDonald / myGC.com.au

1029 Hot Tomato’s Surf Reporter Reg says for unexperienced surfers to stay well away of the beaches.

“Waves are solid out of the east-northeast in the 6 up to 8 foot range, even the occasional bigger set on the open beaches.

There’s lots of water moving around, so super dangerous conditions, only for the experience today,” Reg said.

The M1 looking north from Ormeau bridge

M1 motorists reminded of roadworks and detours starting tonight

Motorists are being reminded that night time roadworks will start tonight on the M1 between Eight Mile Plains to Springwood.

Overnight roadworks will take place between 9pm and 5am from Sundays to Thursdays, and 11pm to 6am on Fridays and Saturdays during the period between today, Thursday February, 21 until Saturday March 9

More than 3,400 tonnes of precast concrete will be lifted into place over the M1 over the coming weeks, to make way for a new four-lane bridge over the M1 at Underwood.

Traffic will be detoured onto Logan Road during the roadworks period.

The Coalition Government have contributed $115 million to the jointly funded project, while the Queensland Government have contributed $80.3 million.

Member for Springwood Mick de Brenni said the first girder lift will be a welcome sight for the local community.

“Our community is feeling a lot of relief seeing the next big step in the M1 upgrade being delived.

“Moving the new bridge’s 52 girder into place isn’t just a construction task, it makes a turning point in our local history where we can see the light at the end of the congestion tunnel.

“The bridge widening follows the upgrade of the Underwood Road and School Road intersection and signals an exciting future for local bus commuters and motorists alike,” Mr de Brenni said.