Bribie ‘holding’ on after rough seas, king tides hit

 

Waves have crashed through the Bribie Island dunes, tearing a hole in the island's northern point and potentially putting at risk dozens of beachfront mansions.

The cyclonic weather lashing the state this week exacerbated a long term erosion problem on the island, allowing water to break through into Pumicestone Passenger.

"The dunes have got so narrow from previous erosion events that they were just waiting for the big event to come along and overwash those dunes," Principal Coastal Scientist Sel Saltman said.

"That's what we saw on Monday."

Caloundra resident Zane Jones has snapped the big swell and high tides that caused Bribie Island to break through.
Caloundra resident Zane Jones has snapped the big swell and high tides that caused Bribie Island to break through.


Flotilla Commander Caloundra Coast Guard Roger Pearce today said "little vortexes" have appeared in the passage as the island is divided into two.

"At this stage it's holding together but who knows. When the water is at the same level as the inside passage we'll get a lot more damage," he told Sunrise.

Flotilla Commander Caloundra Coast Guard Roger Pearce said Bribie was “holding together”. Picture: Sunrise/Channel 7
Flotilla Commander Caloundra Coast Guard Roger Pearce said Bribie was “holding together”. Picture: Sunrise/Channel 7


"The water on the inside is already flowing in quite quickly just as the natural tide comes into the Pumicestone passage, so assuming that people keep away from this particular area where there will be a few little vortexes.

Angele Fludder inspects the tidal breakthrough at Bribie Island. Picture: Patrick Woods
Angele Fludder inspects the tidal breakthrough at Bribie Island. Picture: Patrick Woods


"At this stage there are still plenty of tree roots holding it together and I would imagine that there will be a replanting of the area fairly promptly because it would be not very good for two openings, one at Caloundra bar and another one here a few kilometres south. It would be crazy."

The northern part of the island was closed to the public on Monday, and boaties have been urged to stay away.

Waves crash through Bribie Island dunes. Picture: Sunrise/Channel 7
Waves crash through Bribie Island dunes. Picture: Sunrise/Channel 7


Announcing the closures, QPWS warned the weather could create a number of environmental hazards including: "steep sand dunes, deep washouts and gutters, hidden banks, fallen trees, exposed coffee rock and large debris on exposed beaches."

Peter Diezmann, helmsman of Caloundra Coast Guard, on Bribie. Picture: Patrick Woods.
Peter Diezmann, helmsman of Caloundra Coast Guard, on Bribie. Picture: Patrick Woods.


The exact effects of erosion and its impact on Golden Beach remains unclear, however, Principal Coastal Scientist Sel Saltman said the width of Pumicestone passage may reduce the impact on the popular strip.

"We'll just continue to monitor and assess the situation, but the priority is to keep people away and keep people safe," Mr Saltman said.


"It may recover after this event, but the long term erosion process is going to continue and it's most likely that Bribie Island will break through between Moreton Bay and Pumicestone passage this year and the next few years."

An uprooted tree on Bribie. Picture: Sunrise/Channel 7
An uprooted tree on Bribie. Picture: Sunrise/Channel 7

 

Bribie Island has been hit hard by the severe weather conditions. Picture: Sunrise/Channel 7
Bribie Island has been hit hard by the severe weather conditions. Picture: Sunrise/Channel 7


Originally published as Bribie 'holding' on after being hit by rough seas, king tides


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