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Wild weather keeps Gold Coast beaches closed

By Russell Varley and Jo Skinner, Friday February 22, 2013 - 13:12 EDT
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Gold Coast beaches could take time to recover from this latest episode of erosion. - ABC

Beaches on Queensland's Gold Coast are closed for a fourth day as a low pressure system continues to whip up dangerous surf.

A severe weather warning remains in place although damaging winds are expected to ease this afternoon.

Gold Coast chief lifeguard Warren Young says erosion has caused a lifeguard tower at Miami to topple over.

"The lifeguard tower number 22 at Santa Monica Avenue toppled in and Engineering Services Council gangs are trying to get it out onto the grassed area," he said.

Mr Young says a number of areas have suffered erosion.

"It's not a good look at the present time - there'll be no beaches open today," he said.

"There's still some really strong current inshore and it's bad weather - some debris around as well.

"Visibility's very poor so all beaches are closed today."



Mr Young says the pounding surf is leaving its mark.

"In this area here and some other parts of the coast it is compromised," he said.

"There is some bad erosion along the coast and a couple of towers we're keeping an eye on - it's that surging tide this morning with the swell from the low and it's caused the problems."

An authority on coastal management, Griffith University's Professor Rodger Tomlinson, says Gold Coast beaches could take time to recover from this latest episode of erosion.

Cliffs up to four metres high have been carved into beaches north of Miami just weeks after driving rain, strong winds and heavy seas caused extensive damage.

Professor Tomlinson says there have been heavier impacts in the past.

"If you go back into the 1960s and 1970s this was commonplace - weather of this kind - and quite severe erosion back then," he said.

"But it certainly is by no means a minor event and it needs to be monitored and action taken if needed."

Meanwhile on the Sunshine Coast, most beaches have reopened today after the wild weather.

Five beaches remain closed, but may reopen during the day after the high tide recedes.

Access to some beaches is limited due to erosion from this week's dangerous surf.


- ABC

© ABC 2013

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