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2022 Floods

MAYORAL MINUTE: Calls to include Clarence in flood data assessment

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MAYORAL MINUTE: Calls to include Clarence in flood data assessment

Clarence Valley Mayor Ian Tiley has demanded the Clarence be included in any 2022 flood studies and assessments after discovering the region had been ignored in initial assessments by a NSW Government department.

Mayor Tiley put forward the Minute at the June Council meeting upon advice from the Department of Planning and Environment that post flood data behaviour assessments already undertaken focused on the Richmond, Wilson, Brunswick and Tweed rivers – local government areas to the north of the Clarence Valley.

Clarence Valley Council was excluded from this work on the basis that flood levels at the Prince Street, Grafton gauge were not considered of the same scale as rivers to the north and that there was already sufficient historical data about river behaviour based on the level at Grafton.

 

The Clarence River peaked at 7.66m at Grafton-below the levee wall and 2013 flood levels.

Mayor Tiley stressed that this decision did not consider the significantly higher flood levels at towns and villages downstream. Grafton’s peak of 7.664m had an average exceedance probability* (AEP) of 6.6 per cent, compared to 2 per cent for Maclean’s 3.36m peak.

“The flood level at Grafton was not a predictor for the flood behaviour downstream,” Mayor Tiley said.

“It is clear the Clarence flood increased in volume as it moved downstream and staff consider it likely the extreme localised rainfall events in the tributaries of the lower catchment impacted Clarence River levels downstream of Grafton, and that post flood data behaviour assessments may inform these assumptions.”

 

The Maclean community fought gallantly to sandbag the town and prevent major flooding after the Clarence River’s peak of 3.36m exceeded the levee wall maximum height of 3.30m

CVC previously reported in April that Yamba experienced its biggest rainfall event on record, with 1267mm in February and March. This included 274.4mm on 28 February – the highest 24-hour February total on record – and 258.2mm on 1 March for a total of 532mm.

“There has been no event or combination of events since records began that comes close to the rainfall totals recorded at Yamba in February and March,” Clarence Valley Council Director Works and Civil Jamie Fleeting said at the time.

 

Harwood Island during the 2022 floods

The Mayoral Minute received unanimous support at the Clarence Valley Council Ordinary Meeting at Maclean Council Chambers.

Council will now advocate through the NSW Premier, Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience, Minister for Environment and Heritage and Member for Clarence that Clarence Valley Council and the Clarence River be included in any other post 2022 flood and storm event studies and assessments undertaken across the Northern Rivers by the Environment Heritage Group or any other State departments.

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2022 Floods

Diary of a Flood Survivor

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Diary of a Flood Survivor Woodburn Service Station

Diary of a Flood Survivor

 

I feel like we must have been one of the first cars to get petrol at the newly-reopened service station at Woodburn.

They did not have their ATM lines up so were only taking cash.

As I walked into the shop, I could smell the newness of the plastic and products as I went to pay for the tank’s worth.

AND the price was the lowest I have seen in a long while.

No doubt, once the ATM lines are up and if they keep the same price, it will be a popular spot.

It makes the town feel like it is back on the road to healing.

Now we just need to see our IGA open and we will be all grown up again.

I recently went to the funeral of the wife of a friend.

It was a very poignant moment to see him reach out and gently touch the coffin next to where he sat in the church during the requiem mass.

Her children read out her own words that she had written about her life and it was interesting to note she was born in the middle of a flood in 1928.

From there, she remembered as a young wife and mother the devastation of 1954’s flood.

When we first arrived on the Northern Rivers, the 1954 flood was spoken about in hushed tones or a type of reverence at the enormity of it.

Without taking away from the devastation that happened during that flood, as many more people lost their lives, I don’t think I have the same awe for it as I once did, now having experienced the aftermath of the 2022 flood.

Little steps.

 

For more 2022 floods news, click here.

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2022 Floods

Two years on Annette has her keepsakes returned

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Matchbook Collection.

Two years on Annette has her keepsakes returned

 

By Samantha Elley

Most people who experienced the loss of personal items in the 2022 flood have come to terms with the fact they will never see them again.

Annette Dale of East Wardell was no different.

Her jar of matchbooks that she had been collecting since her twenties was a hobby of hers for forty years.

“My ex-husband and I would travel about to restaurants and nightclubs and I used to collect their matchbooks,” she said.

“I managed to salvage them in the first flood and put them in a shed, but then the second flood actually took my water tank.”

The second flood also took her collection of matchbooks, still in their jar.

“I hadn’t thought about them until half way through last year,” said Annette.

Fast forward to 2024 and Annette’s daughter Katelin was scrolling on her social media when she saw a post where a staff member from the Ramada in Ballina was looking for the owner of a jar of matchbooks.

“Spotted floating along the river during the floods. Ramada staff fished this jar out of the water. We would love to return this item to its owner.”

This was the sign on the jar.

Matchbook Collection.

Matchbook Collection.

“(Katelin) rang me and said ‘Mum, I have something of yours you lost in the floods’,” said Annette.

“I started crying and she filmed me when I got it back.”

That video was posted on the Wardell CORE Community Organised Resilience Effort page and Annette has been overwhelmed with all the positive comments and good wishes.

“To have my glass jar float all the way from East Wardell to the Ramada is amazing,” she said.

Annette said the flood waters didn’t affect Wardell until March 1 and she thought she was safe on a mound.

However, when she woke up that morning she realised she was on an island and needed rescuing.

“I got rescued on a jet ski by two (very handsome) men,” she said.

“It was a terrifying experience, it was a leap of faith and I prayed the whole time.”

For the next six months Annette lived with her daughter and son-in-law in Tuckombil until the house was in a decent state to move back into.

Having her long lost collection of match books back has lifted her spirits no end and she visited the Ramada last Friday to meet the staff who saved her keepsakes.

“I am totally grateful to the Ramada staff,” she said.

 

For more 2022 floods news, click here.

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2022 Floods

RC of Ballina-on-Richmond Temporary Home Project

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RC of Ballina-on-Richmond Temporary Home Project

RC of Ballina-on-Richmond Temporary Home Project

 

January 2023 the Rotary Club of Ballina-on-Richmond embarked on the biggest projects it has ever undertaken in its 38 years; The Temporary Housing Project which supplies small homes on people’s properties where their homes are unliveable due to the devastating floods of 2022.

A recovery team from the Rotary Club comprising Col Lee Flood Recovery coordinator, marketing and finance, Donella Kinnish  Project manager and Paul Sleeth builder was set up. The team is involved in all the interviews, site inspections and the building program.

RC of Ballina-on-Richmond Temporary Home Project

Temporary Home Project Kitchen

The criteria is: the applicant must have had their home flood affected and unliveable. They must have running water, a working toilet of some sort and some form of electricity which are State Government requirements.

The homes come as a flat pack and open out when raised. They are positioned  on footings concreted into the ground and elevated around 110-150ml off the ground to allow adequate air flow under the temporary house to limit mould. They are built in China, have all the electrics and ADR compliance carried out in Australia before the are transported to the site for erection.

They come with full security bars on the windows, LED lighting, multiple power points and 15 amp circuit breaker and wiring. The erection of the homes takes around 20 minutes after the crane truck positions the home on the footings . Once secured in place they are fitted out with a kitchenette, gas hot water service, fire alarm, microwave and fridge. Some also have showers added externally.

RC of Ballina-on-Richmond Temporary Home Project

Temporary Home Project

The project has supplied homes in all local LGAs with the latest 5 x homes going into Nimbin due to landslides . In all 36 homes have been supplied with a further two to be erected in Nimbin when the access to the properties dries out. Once completed it will be a $630,000 project providing a warm, secure and solid temporary home for up to five years.

A great advantage with this product is that once the recipients have repaired or replaced their original home to a liveable standard , the temporary home can be easily dismantled, transported and reused on another site where a natural disaster has occurred. Not going into landfill which is often the case for other temporary homes.

 

For more 2022 floods news, click here.

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