THE Gold Coast’s Local Disaster Management Unit remains on ‘Alert’ status, as Ex-Tropical Cyclone Oma continues to generate large swells.
Updating the media on the situation on Saturday morning, Mayor Tom Tate said local beaches were “holding up well”, despite the savage seas.
The Mayor said there had only been “a few erosion issues”, with large waves carving 2-3 metre cliffs out of the sand at Main Beach, Broadbeach, and Burleigh.
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Council has three million tonnes of sand in stockpile and could begin replenishing the shoreline as early as Tuesday.
Mayor Tate said the City’s famous beaches would be returned to their usual glory “within 48 hours” of works starting.
“The swell impacting our coast is more powerful than Cyclone Debbie but our beaches are holding up well given the $30 million investment in protection measures in the last four years,” Mayor Tate said.
“In 2017, three million cubic metres of sand was pumped up on to the beaches in a special project involving an offshore dredging vessel.
“That project cost $13.9 million and is paying dividends today with significant volumes of sand on our beaches.”
For now, however, all of the city’s 34 beaches remain closed, with swimmers warned they face being forcibly removed by police and fined if they enter the water.
Mayor Tom Tate said the Seawall at The Spit was also closed and said police would be called to deal with anyone who ignored the warnings.
Eight people had to be rescued during dawn patrols on Saturday, including a tourist who was nearly sucked out to sea.
They were standing in ankle-deep water when they was washed off their feet by a powerful surge.
Monster 12-13 metre waves – larger than those whipped up by Ex-Tropical Cyclone Oswald – were recorded offshore of North Stradbroke Island on Friday.
Maximum wave heights of 8 metres were recorded off the Gold Coast on Friday, which charged toward the shore at 20km/h.
The Gold Coast’s wave monitoring buoy recorded its largest wave of the event on Saturday, however, with a 9m wave detected around midday.
The Bureau of Meteorology says the Gold Coast can expect large seas, dangerous surf and coastal erosion to continue.
Gale force winds with gusts of 90km/h or more also remain possible about the exposed coast and islands between the Sunshine Coast and the border.
The bureau warns the damaging wind gusts may extend to the southern border ranges, inland to about Springbrook and Tamborine Mountain.
An 89kn/h wind gust was recorded at the Gold Coast Seaway on Friday.
These conditions are expected to continue tomorrow before tapering off and easing from the south on Monday.
Due to the winds, the Gold Coast’s Waste & Recycling centres were still closed on Saturday. Closures may continue on Sunday, depending on weather conditions. Updates will be posted here.
Cyclone Oma was downgraded to a tropical low on Saturday and continues to move further away from southeast Queensland.
It’s forecast to adopt a northerly track tomorrow and head for warmer waters off North Queensland where the Bureau of Meteorology warns there is a slight chance it could reform into a fully-fledged cyclone.