Albion Park flood fury

Albion Park resident Keith Hetherington at the water catchment out the front of his place that is blocked following the recent rains. Picture Eliza Winkler

Albion Park resident Keith Hetherington at the water catchment out the front of his place that is blocked following the recent rains. Picture Eliza Winkler

THE region’s susceptibility to flooding has again been highlighted following the recent downpour across the Illawarra and South Coast last week.

Flooding in the region is not unusual, however Albion Park Rail resident Keith Hetherington said flooding on Tongarra Road was “getting out of control”.

“My wife is on edge and paranoid that we will flood every time it rains,” he said.

“We have been flooded-out three times in the last four years and gone through two carpets in two years. If I didn’t have insurance I’d be facing a bill well over $35,000.”

Mr Hetherington’s property is located at the eastern end of Tongarra Road, opposite Croome Road intersection and is categorised by council in the Horsley Creek Catchment area. 

Council said the adopted flood study showed the area was “flood affected” and a council letter to Mr Hetherington states a viable solution pending on a catchment wide Floodplain Risk Management plan.

A council spokesperson said each stage of the plan can take up to three years to complete.  

Mr Hetherington identified the low-lying area as being prone to flooding, yet said there was only one drain on his side of the road and the water catchment had not be cleaned in 17 years.

“The catchment nearly broke its banks last Tuesday in the heavy rains,” he said.

“The water just collects around the entrance to Croome Road and has nowhere to go. The drains and the catchment don’t operate when they reach a certain level and the water just rises.

“In our second flood, we had one metre of blue metal out the front of house that had washed down from Croome Road.

“I have contacted council every time and I just get the same response about the pending flood study but someone needs to have a look at this area before there is a bad accident.”

The council said they had commissioned specialist flood management consultant, GHD Pty Ltd to prepare a Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan on behalf of council for the Horsley Creek Catchment. 

“Draft reports are due for consideration by the Floodplain Management Committee by October 2014, the spokesperson said.

“Following this, it will be recommended to the committee that the draft study and plan be placed on public exhibition and submissions on the draft reports be invited.”

For more information on council’s floodplain management plans visit shellharbour.nsw.gov.au/default.aspx?WebPage=1645

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