Splintered wood is all that is left of a 60-metre stretch of the Port Germein Jetty after it was struck by a tidal surge on Monday night.
The damage, estimated to be worth tens of thousands of dollars, was caused as a high tide swept in from the Spencer Gulf and cascaded over sandbags into The Esplanade beside the foreshore.
Mount Remarkable District Council Mayor Sandra Wauchope said the council would pay the first $10,000 of the repair bill and the State Government would cover the rest.
An officer from the Planning, Transport and Infrastructure Department would visit on Monday to assess the damage.
She said it was irresponsible to put a figure on estimated repair costs when an assessment had not yet been done.
She criticised comments on radio that it was a case of “if rather than when” the heritage jetty was repaired. ”We will do whatever it takes to ensure we save our jetty,” she said.
“It is about the economic survival of the community and area.”
The damaged section is about halfway along the jetty and was caused when the decking snapped its bolts and peeled over. The end of the jetty is also affected. The pier has been closed.
Resident David Jacobs said seaweed had been piled high on the foreshore by the raging water. “The water came to the middle of the road,” he said.
“We sandbagged the drains so the water would not run back in from the sea.
“It came over the sandbags. The water pressure damaged a 60-metre section of the jetty. She is smashed, she is gone.
“About 20 posts were torn out by the waves. The bolts underneath on the timbers let go.” Progress association member Sue Perovic said residents had gone to Port Pirie to collect material for a “cage” to put around the damaged area to control movements by visitors.
“That is the worst I have seen the tide for a long time,” Mrs Perovic said. “The jetty is a our town’s lifeline and the repairs need to be started as soon as possible.”
The high seas led to the closure of the causeway to Weeroona Island on Monday night.
We will do whatever it takes to ensure we save our jetty - it is about economic survival.Sandra Wauchope, Mayor