Drone footage has revealed the harrowing extent of storm damage along the northern beaches, showing waterfront properties teetering precariously on the edge of newly carved cliffs in a sight that brought residents to tears.
One heart-broken Collaroy resident broke down at the sight of her waterfront property after 25 metres of her land was dragged out to sea by the weekend’s wild storms.
Zaza Silk cried and collapsed on camera as she told Sunrise of the rapid destruction at the hands of the raging seas.
“Within three hours we had a garden that was just totally destroyed, gone,” she told presenter Natalie Barr.
“…then the garden fence went, and then slowly as the day progressed it got closer and closer and then the police arrived and said ‘you’ve got to go’.”
She was forced to evacuate at 7:30pm on Sunday night, and had no idea what to expect when approaching her home early on Monday morning.
The sight was enough to bring her to her knees.
“I never thought it would be this bad.”
The University of New South Wales Water Research Laboratory department recorded the drone footage from high above the northern beaches.
The aerial footage captured the carnage left by the superstorm, showing mass amounts of white wash and debris around the shoreline – including the swimming pool dislodged from its holdings overnight.
Ms Silk said up to 25 metres of her property were washed away, leaving her two-storey house overhanging the ocean.
She said residents had been talking to Warringah Council for “years” about implementing a sea wall and believed the damage could’ve been lessened if one had been installed.
“It’s not fair, it’s really not fair. This could’ve been avoided. If the council had got their act together and put up a sea wall,” she told Sunrise tearfully.
“They have to wait 'til all this has happened to do anything about it.”
The Warringah Council website states that Collaroy-Narrabeen Beach is ranked the third most at-risk area from coastal processes in Australia.
Despite this, they maintain that it is the landowners’ responsibility to install protective works to their property
“Council does not consider it has a responsibility to protect private property from coastal erosion and inundation hazards, and does not intend to do so,” the Coastal Erosion Emergency Action Subplan for Beaches in Warringah reads.
“In essence, landowners must act well in advance of a coastal emergency.”
The council had planned to build a 1.1km seawall off Collaroy in 2003 but received so much opposition from the community that they decided not to proceed.
Residents will be holding their breath as high tide approaches at 9:20 on Monday night.
Yahoo7 has contacted Warringah Council for comment.
News break – June 6