As you would understand we have been monitoring the situation at Port Macquarie since the extreme weather event of last Sunday.
On that day the venue received 144mm of rain in a short time. This did result in localised flooding. Monday morning, 95% of that had disappeared. No rainfall occurred at the venue from 5 pm Sunday through to 7.30 pm Monday.
What has further impacted the site both Monday and Tuesday is the high tide breaching the creek that runs beside the venue. This is due to a high level of rain in the hinterland catchment area. This is now flowing into the Hastings River, adding to the already above normal tidal patterns. This has had a significant impact on the venue and will require field changes and repositioning.
As of this morning, the Bureau of Metrology has provided the following information concerning predicted rain:-
Wednesday 80% chance of up to 15mm
Thursday 90% chance of up to 40mm
Friday 80% chance of up to 35mm
Saturday 60% chance of up to 20mm
Sunday 20% chance of up to 0.2mm
While the tides are predicted to remain high, they are set to lower as each day passes. Both the rain and the possibility of tidal breaches will impact the fields. Furthermore, due to the rain event and the tidal events, tents have had to be removed from Central Tuffins.
We recognise that parents and clubs have invested time, effort and money into preparing and getting their children to participate in the event. Many of the associated costs have passed a point of being able to be recovered (last Friday).
Yesterday afternoon we held a venue inspection with Council, ground staff and NSWTA staff to ascertain and discuss the conditions.
From this meeting and Board discussions last evening, we advise that the event will proceed.
It is important to note that the event will be impacted and the loss of fields likely. They are soft, and they will cut up. We will be looking to manage this best we can.
We will not be able to present the event in the manner of our usual standards. The structure of the event may also need to adapt. We will need to be flexible and in all likelihood, face change. We have several strategies in place to aid in getting the event finalised should they need to be implemented and should we not unduly be impacted by weather extremes.
Tent placement has had to be revised with a majority of tents having to be placed on West Tuffins and Field 1. We realise this is not ideal but the staff has worked with suppliers and council to ensure these were allocated to a safe position and assembled in a safe manner. Whilst we would’ve liked to position the majority of the tents in the middle of the event precinct, unfortunately, the weekend’s rain has made it difficult to access certain areas of the fields with heavy trucks carrying tonnes of equipment without ruining the playing surfaces. And while the rain has been slight since Sunday, further rain is predicted and with the impact of tides it has meant we must consider the safety and comfort of the participants whilst resting in their tents.
Please note that the car park in Tuffins Lane is only accessible by already allocated passes. It is also the main thoroughfare for the buses. It is vitally important that parents and participants understand that Tuffins Lane is not accessible by vehicle or by pedestrians. In particular, pedestrian traffic is a major concern for both their and their children’s safety.
P1 and P2 car parks are waterlogged. There is a real possibility of vehicles becoming bogged. We need to advise if you choose to park in these areas you do so at your own risk. We will be pushing out the bus routes and schedules as alternatives. This is a viable option for those with tents now on West Tuffins. We are investigating the possibilities of more buses to be used in the schedule. Further, we are working with the Council and the traffic management company to look at strategies around P1 & P2.
From your end as participants and parents we would ask that you assist in understanding that we will be facing challenging conditions and therefore prepare for the same;
– note that field conditions will be wet (bring your gumboots and aero guard)
– there will be car park issues and buses transport is a viable option
– tent positional changes have occurred
– understand and be patient should there be field, draw and/or event structure changes
– at all times listen to and abide by institutions from officials they will be doing their best to get the event played
– follow the Event Facebook page and the Official NSWTA App for updates
We know it will be uncomfortable and challenging for the participants, parents and the spectators, but we all need to remember that this event is for kids. Let’s let them enjoy their experience. That extends also to all the referees who will have a difficult job as it is.
As a sport, Board, staff as well as the affiliates- all our priorities align with running the event. We can not control the weather; however, we can all work together to look to make the best of a bad situation.
It is going to be wet, it is going to be uncomfortable, it’s not going to be pretty, and we are going to do the best we can to get the event played.