Community news

Storms: worst since 1974

The worst storm since 1974 saw monster waves combined with the year’s highest tide to cause devastation to Terrigal businesses and infrastructure whilst homes along Wamberal Beach narrowly escaped serious damage but are teetering on the edge.

The Marine Rescue Centre at the Haven and the Clan Lakeside Lodge on Terrigal Lagoon were seriously damaged: the Lodge had its windows blown out as the storm pushed seawater through the restaurant and pushed furniture into the back car park.

Below is an article posted by Joanne McCarthy for the Newcastle Herald.

THE normally protected seaside resort town of Terrigal copped a beating on Sunday night when huge waves smashed walls at a lakeside lodge, caused severe damage to a boardwalk and battered homes on a beachfront known as millionaires’ row.

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The Clan Lakeside Lodge copped the brunt of huge waves that surged through Terrigal lagoon on Sunday night and closed one of the main roads to Terrigal, Ocean View Drive, for hours for the first time in decades.

Wave surges smashed a brick wall at the lodge and powered through the hotel’s restaurant before continuing to the road and causing damage at nearby residences, including a luxury weekender and another restaurant.

Hotel visitors were moved to other accommodation throughout Sunday as an early surge and huge waves into the lake on Sunday morning provided a warning of what was to come during higher tides and bigger seas on Sunday night.

Home owners from nearby “millionaires’ row” – a length of beachfront between Terrigal and Wamberal that used to count former Labor heavyweight Eddie Obeid as a property owner – watched as a succession of huge waves gouged metres of beachfront in a matter of minutes between 8 and 11pm.

“It was three huge waves and I watched three metres of my beachfront go,” said one property owner near the Clan who said he was close to evacuating at the height of the storm.

At Terrigal the boardwalk suffered severe damage, with concrete ramps to the beach tossed by huge waves and left at precarious angles on rocks cleared of sand.

The main ramp from Terrigal Surf Life Saving Club clubhouse was exposed as thousands of tonnes of sand along the beachfront was sucked into the sea.

The strength of a huge rip that ran along Wamberal beach and curled into the north-facing Terrigal was shown by the amount of debris from Wamberal that was left strewn on Terrigal, more than a kilometre away.


Signs showing “Dune care” that normally ran along the Wamberal beachfront were found near Terrigal rockpool at the far eastern end of Terrigal.

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