SYDNEY • For hundreds of Australians dumbfounded by the damage done by the storm that lashed Sydney, yesterday was a day of doggedly trying to get their lives back to normal.
But for the residents of the beachside suburb of Collaroy, normalcy will not return soon. Just 20km north of the Sydney central business district, Collaroy has lost much of its popular surfing beach.
At their height, the seas swept an estimated 50m inland, across the road along the beach.
The worst-hit are seven of the houses lining the road.
One of them is the home of Ms Zaza Silk, whose swimming pool was swept away when the garden around it was washed out.
But her loss was more personal than just property. Her mother's ashes and the body of her pet dog, which died recently, were buried in the garden that was taken by the storm.
"My mother was in an urn in the garden along with my beautiful dog who passed away recently. I would go and talk to them regularly, and they're gone," Ms Silk told the Ten Network last night.
She blames her local council for not taking action sooner to build a sea wall, after years of discussion.
"They've just never got around to doing it... They've had to wait until all this has happened to do anything about it... It's crazy," she said on the Seven Network.
"I've left a cat in the house. I can't even get into the house to check on it," she added.
Another resident, who gave his name only as David, said the erosion was devastating.
"There is no beach at Collaroy. I wouldn't be calling it Collaroy Beach any more. I'd be calling it Collaroy Point," he told ABC News.
Local man Matt Kemp said Sunday's storm felt like a cyclone which left the area looking like a war zone yesterday.
"There was nothing I could do... except video it," he told ABC News.