Exclusive Sydney homes face falling into sea as storms wash away 50m of beach

A number of exclusive homes on Sydney’s Collaroy Beach face collapse after storms washed away some 50 metres of beach. Four people were killed in floodwaters from a strong storm that pounded Australia’s east coast over the weekend, with drenching rains and huge ocean swells forcing some coastal residents to flee their homes and sending a swimming pool sliding into the sea. The multi-million dollar waterfront properties on Collaroy Beach lost backyards, decks and a swimming pool after 13m-high waves and a spring tide - known as a king tide in Australia - pummelled the beach.

We could hear [the houses] creaking and groaning. Some of them have clearly suffered a degree of structural damage.

Prof Ian Turner, the director of University of New South Wales’ Water Research Laboratory

A second spring tide hit the beach on Monday night, eroding the sand by another 5m and causing additional damage to the houses. A further spring tide is expected on Tuesday night. Nearly 300 people needed to be rescued from flooded areas across New South Wales, the state emergency services agency said. Many of those people had attempted to drive or walk across flooded roads.