NSW SES emergency response taskforce on hand to assist battered Lord Howe Island

As conditions begin to ease on Lord Howe Island following severe damage inflicted after Cyclone Uesi left her mark last Friday, additional emergency resources are now being deployed to assist the community with recovery and cleaning up.

Lord Howe Island experienced gale-force winds, with destructive gusts in excess of 155 km/h overnight last Thursday and into Friday morning.

New South Wales State Emergency Service (NSW SES) Division Commander for the Mid North Coast Tony Day explained the current clean-up operations occurring on Lord Howe Island. “Lord Howe Island sustained substantial damage with houses, roads and buildings impacted by wind and falling debris. Fortunately, no injuries to people were reported and there was also no significant infrastructure damage,” said Mr Day. Roads on the Island remain blocked by debris and several large Norfolk Pine trees have been uprooted and are threatening to topple. The airport has been cleared of debris and is operational, subject to improved weather conditions.

“The local NSW SES Lord Howe Island Unit has done an amazing job responding to calls from help received following the effects of Cyclone Uesi.

To assist further and to provide more resources in the clean-up efforts, a taskforce of five volunteers from the local NSW SES Port Macquarie Unit and four Fire and Rescue New South Wales personnel have been deployed to the island.

“The team of qualified storm water damage specialists also have working at heights, general land rescue and vertical rescue qualifications. They are fully equipped to support response operations on the Island and will remain until at least Tuesday. The FRNSW hazardous materials specialists will fly in this afternoon along with a drone to complete the damage impact assessment,” continued Mr Day.

“Contingency planning for severe weather events on Lord Howe Island are well tested. The Island is very resilient and the work of emergency services both in preparing for and responding to this emergency, demonstrates their capability. Support from the mainland is part of the Emergency Management Plan and this was able to be enacted seamlessly to ensure a timely response,” said Mr Day.

Image: Katie Blake, Leonie Stephenson, Alfred Portenschlager, Kevin Sherwood (Team Leader) and Scott Robinson. Just before they boarded the bumpy flight to the Island

Image: SES members from Lord Howe Island and some members of the Port Macquarie Team with Local Member for Port Macquarie Leslie Williams and Lord Howe Island Board Chairman Peter Adams.

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