Long track to recovery at Fernleigh It’s taken two days for crews to clear the popular Fernleigh track. Pictures: Darren Pateman
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It’s taken two days for crews to clear the popular Fernleigh track. Pictures: Darren Pateman

It’s taken two days for crews to clear the popular Fernleigh track. Pictures: Darren Pateman

It’s taken two days for crews to clear the popular Fernleigh track. Pictures: Darren Pateman

It’s taken two days for crews to clear the popular Fernleigh track. Pictures: Darren Pateman

It’s taken two days for crews to clear the popular Fernleigh track. Pictures: Darren Pateman

It’s taken two days for crews to clear the popular Fernleigh track. Pictures: Darren Pateman

It’s taken two days for crews to clear the popular Fernleigh track. Pictures: Darren Pateman

It’s taken two days for crews to clear the popular Fernleigh track. Pictures: Darren Pateman

Storm damage to a jetty.

Storm damage to a jetty.

Storm damage to a jetty.

TweetFacebookSTORM debris has been cleared from the hard-hit Fernleigh Track over the past two days, but more work is needed to restore its former glory.

And four badly damaged public jetties in Lake Macquarie will need major repairs.

A council statement said workers started clearing the Fernleigh Track from the Belmont end and were working their way north.

‘‘Due to the large amount of trees creating blockages at various locations, council has been unable to do a full assessment of the track’s condition,’’ the statement said.

‘‘Crews will continue to remove debris in the coming days to allow us to re-open this highly utilised track as soon as possible.’’

The council urged people to avoid the area until debris was cleared.

Initial assessments found six of Lake Macquarie’s 32 public jetties were damaged, ranging from ‘‘minor decking issues’’ to major structural problems. Jetties at Belmont, Wangi, Brightwaters and Green Point remain closed and require major repairs.

People should take care at other jetties and boat ramps ‘‘because of water heights and debris’’, the council said.

Lake Macquarie mayor Jodie Harrison said there were many parks, reserves, cycleways, roads and footpaths where trees had fallen.

‘‘Council crews will continue to tidy and address issues as they get reported from the community or our asset inspectors,’’ Cr Harrison said.

Councillor Daniel Wallace asked at Monday’s council meeting whether the storm clean-up would hit the council’s budget. Council strategy director Tony Farrell said natural-disaster declarations were not designed to restore damaged cities to their original state.

‘‘We’ll have to fund some of the clean-up by deferring [other] projects,’’ Mr Farrell said.

Cr Harrison said the council had received a ‘‘tremendous response’’ from the council’s free green waste pick-up. The council said on Facebook it would probably ‘‘take a few weeks for our crews to get around the city’’ to complete the pick-up.

‘‘We will be going to every street in every suburb across the city,’’ it said.

Reduced tip fees would be charged for general waste from the storm at Awaba tip until May 19.

Resident Dave Dillon said on Facebook that this ‘‘bulk-waste collection should also be free’’, but the council said ‘‘storm-related waste disposal charges may be claimable’’.

‘‘Keep your receipt and contact your insurer,’’ it said. The council is offering residents ‘‘free pasteurised mulch’’, from the tip until May 19.

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