Vehicles bogged in soft sand a big headache for SES and NPWS
4WD ACCESS CLOSED
A BUILD-UP of soft sand on Wooli Beach, which caused an excessive number of rescues on the weekend, has prompted the closure of the beach to vehicles.
SES and National Parks & Wildlife Service closed the beach on Saturday in the interests of public safety and protection of their vehicles, after several were damaged rescuing vehicles on the beach.
The authorities said weather conditions had led to an accumulation of sand, which was new and very soft.
They predicted the closure would be required for two to three weeks to allow time for the sand to settle and compact naturally.
Signage informing of closure has been placed at the radiation zone trail and the eastern extension of Williams Crescent, the intersection of Digger Camp Rd and the beach access, and at both accesses located south of Wooli Village on South Terrace.
A Clarence Valley Council spokesman has urged 4WD users to abide by the closure as previous vehicle rescue incidents had resulted in damage to the rescue vehicles.
SES Wooli unit controller Bruce Bird told the ABC the recent build-up of new and soft sand on the beach had led to vehicles becoming dangerously bogged.
“The sand has been brought back through the wave action following the east coast lows and the other wave action from highs, and the rough surf that actually took away the top sand,” he said.
“That’s now been returned with a fair bit of bonus on top. It’s really soft and has not settled. Just the action of turning a vehicle around is meaning they are getting bogged.”
The beach is closed to all vehicles from the sea wall right through to Wilson’s headland.
The deposit of sand on the beach has begun replacing material stripped from the beach in recent storms.
Wooli residents had reached an agreement with Clarence Valley Council to use machines to scrape sand from lower sections of the beach to protect the dune system. It’s too early to say if this sand dump indicates an end to the threat of coastal erosion.
EROSION: One Tree-Wooli Beach after the last weather event to hit the Clarence Valley.