Tathra residents begin to return, recover

EMOTIONAL: Tathra residents Deb Naeve and Ingrid Mitchell wander through the burnt out remains of their Wildlife Drive home. Picture: AAP, Dean Lewins
EMOTIONAL: Tathra residents Deb Naeve and Ingrid Mitchell wander through the burnt out remains of their Wildlife Drive home. Picture: AAP, Dean Lewins

More than half of Tathra has been reopened to residents following Sunday’s devastating bushfire.

Locals began trickling back into town from Tuesday night to survey the damage as well as count some blessings, with an estimated 398 homes saved or spared by firefighting efforts to the 69 confirmed destroyed.

A further zone was declared safe by Rural Fire Service crews around 2pm Wednesday.

Mayor Kristy McBain said essential services of water and sewerage are back up and running with previous concerns about damage allayed. Essential Energy is on hand getting power back online to all zones. 

Telstra has set up a mobile “cell on wheels” for phone coverage and also has a range of assistance package options for affected customers.

An official recovery centre will be open from Thursday in the Bega civic centre, where a range of insurance assessors are already set up.

“Tathra will be open for business, we want to see all our tourists back, spending money in shops and getting our town back to some sort of normality,” Cr  McBain said.

Those heading back to their home need to register at either the evacuation centre or the Kalaru race track to obtain a permit before continuing through.

Residents and those with belongings at holiday accommodation premises in the following streets may now return:

Andy Poole Drive (excluding Tathra Motor Village)

Preo Place

John Taylor Crescent

Sanctuary Place

Fauna Grove

Bay View Drive

Oceanview Terrace

Francis Hollis Drive

Haven Place

Edna Drive

Esther Street

Flora Place

Deer Close

Panorama Drive

Wildlife Drive

The following streets have previously been reopened to residents:

Killarney Road

Stafford Crescent

Reservoir Street

Koorilla Street

Pacific Street

Bega Street

Minnie Lane

Pimms Circuit

Bushlark Lane

Dilkerra Road

Bay Street

Seagrass Lane

Cliff Place

Gordon Street

Bay Street

Davidson Street

Yuppara Street

Dhurga Lane

Panamuna Road

Wallagoot Street

Tathra Street

East Lane

Beach Street

Wharf Street

Kianninny Street

Residents returning should be aware of hazards including damaged buildings, powe asbestos

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