On June 24th, much of the Victorian coastline was battered by heavy winds and rain as an intense low pressure system passed our State.
The beaches along the eastern side of Port Phillip Bay particularly bore the brunt of the combination of high winds and the storm surge that saw huge waves crashing along the coast. Where I live in the City of Bayside we have some of the finest beaches and facilities on the bay and these too suffered the wrath of the elements.
At Black Rock we have a popular walking path along the promenade that was built during the depression years of the 1930’s. The retaining sea wall was constructed of bluestone blocks and capped with concrete slabs to prevent erosion to the cliffs by the sea. Shown below is the sea wall prior to the storm.
Huge seas crashed against the wall for hours on end and as the backwash met the next incoming surge, massive amounts of water smashed over the wall and up as high as the road level. Capping stones and blocks of bluestone were tossed about by the force of the waves as if they were mere paperweights.
The next day the full extent of the damage became apparent.
A little further north at Half Moon Bay more destruction was happening, this time it was the main jetty that was suffering the most damage. A landing at the end of the jetty broke away and launching ramp landings adjacent to the main jetty also broke up and washed up on to the nearby beach.
Half Moon Bay was a sight to be seen during the day with the main car park awash. Waves were crashing over the rocks and water was flowing across the bitumen and out the other end near the main jetty. Rocks and debris littered the area.
Meanwhile further down the line at Rickett’s Point, damage was occurring to the shoreline in the Marine Park. Much of the recently planted vegetation was being destroyed by the pounding waves, much to the despair of the locals involved in the recent restoration project. A massive clean up will be needed to restore the area to its former state once the weather improves.
This is not the first big storm to hit the area, I have photographed similar events in 2009 and 2012, but neither were as damaging as this one. There is a history of such events, many dating back to the early 1900’s. Records indicate that 1936 was a bad year and many bayside structures were either destroyed or severely damaged.
We can be sure it won’t be the last either.