Stephen Collie explains how dredging is playing an important role in getting East Australia back on track following the aftermath of Cyclone Oswald.
In January 2013, Cyclone Oswald wreaked havoc on parts of Queensland and New South Wales, Australia. The storm had a widespread impact and caused extreme flooding, storms and water damage.
Damage was estimated to be at least Aus$2.4 billion (which equates to about 2.5 billion U.S dollars). The storm affected more than 4,000 homes and 600 businesses in Bundaberg, Australia. During the storm, more than 7,500 residents of the Bundaberg area were evacuated from their homes. Bundaberg Hospital patients and staff were also removed from the location in order to keep them safe. Bridges, transportation routes and area sewage networks were destroyed. In addition, the storm created massive blackouts and thousands of residents were left without power.
Cyclone Oswald caused immense destruction and created an enormous sinkhole that swallowed up an entire two-story building in the Burnett River area of Midtown Marina.
“The storm left many parts of East Australia in bad shape. We are doing our best to repair that damage to get the surrounding cities back on their feet,” says Steve Karl Collie whose dredging company is among those working to repair the effects of the cyclone.
In order to help repair the damage of the cyclone, the Australian government has approved a project which will help to transform the ravaged marina into a public park area. According to Dredging Today, the project, which will cost an estimated $2.4 million, is set to involve building a 77-metre long steel sheet-pile retaining wall “with interlocking sections to maximize its strength to withstand future floodwaters, then backfilling the hole to reclaim the riverbank.”
One of the key tools involved in repairing the damage from the storm and transforming the land into a safe public area, is the process of dredging.
Steve Karl Collie explains, “Dredging is the process of excavating an area that is partially under water.”
This is done with the purpose of gathering up various sediments and debris and disposing them in a different location. As a manager at one of the major shipping companies in New Zealand, Steve Karl Collie and his employees are highly involved in the project’s current dredging phase.
“This project is going to clean up the marina and clear up the riverbank area of Bundaberg,” he explains. “It will give the people of Bundaberg their Riverwalk area back.”
According to Stephen Collie, the project will make the marina a safe place for people to frequent in the future. “The marina had just gotten back on its feet after a 2011 flood damaged it. That’s where dredging comes in.”
A variety of companies are currently at work to clean up the marina and to fill in the dangerous sinkhole. Much of this work is being done through the use of a dredger, a machine specifically designed to excavate and remove material from the bottom of the water surrounding the marina. In order to make way for the new project, the fallen building debris will be carried away and the ground will be cleared to make room for the new retention wall.
As reported by News Mail, “approximately 65,000 cubic meters of sand and gravel [will] be dredged from an area near Kirby’s Wall to improve navigation of the river.”
Cyclones are a serious threat to the people of Australia. As seen by the destruction of Cyclone Oswald, one of the worst outcomes of a tropical cyclone is flooding. Fortunately for the people of East Australia, the devastation from the recent storm will soon be cleared up.
The once-destroyed land will be transformed into a cheerful place where businesses will thrive and that locals will frequent in their downtime. Thanks to the help of projects like dredging, the storm’s debris will be cleared up and the waterways will soon be functional again.
In addition, the retaining wall, which the project will build, will help to keep the Bundaberg Marina safe from future storms.
“It’s been great to be a part of this project. We can’t wait to see the marina back on its feet,” says Steve Karl Collie.