Not so high but still dry!

December 29th, 2010

I trust that you all enjoyed a Merry Christmas and are, like me, hoping we don’t get anymore rain before New Years Eve. Preferably not before Feb would do me….

I just had Mr Peter Chapman, the Chronicle editor, visiting. He will be writing a story about the capability of Dundowran to cope with the flooding rains I expect. One of my neighbours has hired a pump to try and pump out the water from their backyard. Another neighbour has a pump going also and we are just glad that our big shed stayed dry. We had about 1inch to go and the floor would have been wet. Our little shed didn’t fare as well and I am scared to turn on our pool pump as it received a bit of a soaking.

But all in all I reckon our region, including Dundowran,  has fared well. While there are some very waterlogged gardens only a very, very small number of homes received flood damage and when we compare ourselves to other towns and cities, so far we are doing OK.

A big thank you to SES volunteers and emergency services staff who have all pitched in to help in what should be a week off work! Take a bow and I am sure I speak on behalf of our entire community in thanking you for your dedication and expertise.

Just a reminder that it might be a good time to read that Council disaster booklet that you all received recently. I certainly am as while I really don’t want to ever have to evacuate our home I need to know what to do in case the worse happens. But in case evacuation isn’t an option, and with flooded roads it may not be, I want to know what necessities I should have packed and ready in case we have no power or water or transport for a few days.

Do take care, think of your neighbours and all those who have lost their houses to the rising waters, and drive ever so carefully so that we can all enjoy a happy New Year. Let’s hope it’s a drier one!

PS Graham measured 175ml in our rain gauge this morning since some time Monday.

17 Responses to “Not so high but still dry!”

  1. Colin Burton 29 Dec 2010 at 2:28 pm

    One thing that can be learned from the frequent flooding of some very low lying areas of Hervey Bay is that building or subdivision approvals should NEVER be given in them in future. Along the road from the Eli Waters area to Toogoom and Burrum Heads are several kilometres of very low swampy land. Before the road was raised some fifteen years ago it regularly went under. Fall to sea level is very slight. A few thousand metres of fill, some bulldozing, and ‘she’ll be right’ will not fix it. To develop it would be making future problems for youngsters at the entry level of the housing market. Even if it might be profitable now. With many many hectares of higher land south down Main Street and the main road to Maryborough it is not necessary to play Russian roulette with the low stuff.

  2. Sadmanon 30 Dec 2010 at 8:15 am

    Colin Burt’s post is so true. Much, if not all the land in the Eli Waters region should never have been built on.
    But there you go, the White Shoe brigade puts pressure on councillors both past and present and the ratepayers wear the cost.

    A look into the history of Hervey Bay’s development, it’s councillors, their backgrounds and the result, would bring tears to most
    thinking people’s eyes. Sadly, this council is bearing the brunt of years of poor planning and weak leadership.


  3. Jane Hansonon 30 Dec 2010 at 5:18 pm

    5 years ago when we are up in “the bay” looking for a house to buy I struck up a conversation with an old “native” from here and he advised me not to buy at Eli Waters because it has been built on swamp land. We took his advice and purchased our house in Urangan. I am so appreciative if I could find that gentleman I would give him a big kiss! We had minor flooding in our big shed and the back yard is a bog but other than that we have suffered no damages. The poor people who have come to the Bay for their camping and fishing holidays are the ones who I feel for. A lot of them wait all year to take a break from the daily grind and they end up waterlogged! Oh well, the kids would have enjoyed the “adventure” and I’m sure those who have stayed longer are now enjoying a break from the rain, fingers crossed it doesn’t come back! Something will have to be done re the drainage system but it won’t happen overnight. Problem is, as always, money. Council have to spread the money out for roads, parks, paths etc and I doubt there would be much left over for extras without raising rates and I can imagine what the response would be to that! Sadman, while I agree with you it’s no use blaming past councilors and weak leadership, time to look forward and give our Councilors as much support as we can so they can concentrate on issues at hand instead of having to fend off criticism. Those who do criticize would be the last ones to put their hand up for the job!

  4. Murray Blenheimon 31 Dec 2010 at 8:07 am

    I hope that the FCRC takes action on this issue instead of just “looking into it”. Obviously there are storm water issues here in Dundowran Beach and it has been demonstrated to Council what exactly the problems are. Failure to act now would be to invite more problems in the future………..Let’s hope Sue can get the ball rolling………

  5. Paton 07 Jan 2011 at 11:10 pm

    Sue, Someone mentioned in the local paper that if the story was true, that the guy in your street pumped out 3000 litres of sewage contaminated water per minute for 4 hours (as he claimed), that’s over 700,000 litres of sewage dumped onto the Vine Forest. Are you OK with this? If there was a sewage spill as the paper reported, why wasn’t there any health warning etc? Obviously, I don’t expect an answer.

  6. Sue Brookson 08 Jan 2011 at 6:48 am

    The ground here is totally waterlogged. All our treatment plants are sitting in the waterlogged ground. Some treatment plants have been inundated with water. The pumping was directed to the stormwater system which is via lagoons and out to the sea. With no pumping the water would simply stay around slightly longer but drain to the sea or sit underneath us. Pumping or no pumping contamination is a real issue. No I’m not happy about it but I can’t think of a way to stop it Pat. Have you any ideas? Cheers, Sue

  7. Paton 08 Jan 2011 at 11:10 am

    Thanks for the reply Sue. No I don’t have any ideas on how to stop the problem, but I think if just one yard in one street is pumping 700,000 litres of contaminated sewage water into the storm water drain, and by your own admission, all treatment plants in the area (over 1200 in Dundowran Beach and Craignish alone) are in a similar situation, surely the outlets where the sewage contaminated water is being discharged into the sea should be identified and appropriate signage and exclusion areas defined. Most councils would enforce that the entire area would be evacuated I’m sure. Little kiddies play in the puddles where the storm water enters the sea – as I’m sure you know.

    So you ask me if I have any ideas? Yes, I suggest some signage, some star pickets and some “do not enter” tape around the storm water outlets to sea – to at least provide SOME warning that raw sewage is being pumped straight into the storm water system and out to sea.

  8. Sue Brookson 10 Jan 2011 at 8:38 am

    Council is continually advising residents, via the radio and other media etc, to refrain from entering into the flood waters. The flood waters are entering the sea at many and varied locations. I think a general caution is good enough. If people want to swim in the sea at this time they should use common sense and realise that swimming near storm water outlets in flood events is unwise.
    I would not evacuate my property now nor would my neighbours. We are happier to stay than to go as our houses are fine. We are just keeping our animals away from the flooded water etc and life is going on as normal. Those in Maryborough have much greater concerns than we do at this time.

  9. Paton 10 Jan 2011 at 9:17 am

    I have not heard any warnings on the radio, or anything on the council website warning us that raw sewage is being pumped into the storm water drains. Can you please direct me to where this warning has been issued?

  10. Sue Brookson 11 Jan 2011 at 9:11 am

    To my knowledge no raw sewerage is being pumped into the sea. There are general warnings for everyone to stay out of flood waters as they are contaminated with lots of nasty stuff. If toilets etc are flooded (and some have been) it is obvious that the flood waters will become contaminated and our storm water drains to the sea eventually. I believe the general warnings to stay away are sufficient advice and people should use some common sense. Pat I am happy to continue any debate with you personally but can’t do this if you don’t supply a working email address. Cheers, Sue

  11. Bobon 02 Feb 2011 at 8:33 am

    Hi Sue, where on the councils website can you view the map showing low lying areas in Dundowran Beach. I’ve searched and can’t find it anywhere.

  12. Sue Brookson 02 Feb 2011 at 10:38 am

    Hi Bob. The maps are actually part of the Disaster Management Booklet. Have a look at that and if you are still having problems a quick free call to Council will set you right or just drop me an email via my Council email address. Fingers crossed we don’t suffer the same potential destruction as our Northern neighbours will face tonight!

  13. Bobon 02 Feb 2011 at 4:39 pm

    Hi Sue

    I’ve searched the site again and put disaster management booklet in the search field and still can’t find it. Any directions on where it is on the website.

    Bob (aka Noodles dad)

  14. Sue Brookson 05 Feb 2011 at 8:46 am

    Sorry Bob for taking so long to respond. If you go to the Council web site the changing pictures on the home screen have one showing the booklet. You can click on it when it appears or go to the column of links to the left hand side and click on View Emergency Information. This is the link to that page.
    Then scroll down and there is a link to the pdf of the Emergency Action Guide. At the end of the booklet are the flood maps and there are some larger scale and smaller scale maps to view. I hope this helps, Sue

  15. Bobon 05 Feb 2011 at 1:27 pm

    Thanks Sue, I was hoping it would show how much each street was above or below sea level, but thanks anyway.

  16. Pamela Rooneyon 17 Dec 2014 at 10:12 am

    We have recently purchased a property in Dundowran Beach. All the usual check were done regarding flooding in the area. The property we purchased was on the safe side. That was good. The checks we had done were with the Council. We paid for the search to be done.

    We moved in here in March, and there was very little rain from March (2014) until November (2014). When the rain came, it came.

    What the Council had CHOSEN TO NEGLECT TO INFORM US OF WAS THE FACT THE STREET WE LIVED IN GOT FLOODED. That meant that when heavy rain occurred we were trapped within our property. We could not get out, or of we were out- we could not get back in.

    The road was flooded, the footpath was flooded and covered with water (inwards, not height) for a distance of 2/3 metres. Our driveway was covered with water the same distance as the footpath.

    This I might add has been a VERY RECENT EVENT. In regards to the comments about the Council having done so much work, sorry- I find that hard to believe.

    This place is a mess in regards to the stormwater situation and drainage in general.

    Had we known what an inadequate drainage system that was installed here, we would never purchased the property.

    The Council had an obligation to inform us of the street flooding, and that the street was supposedly designed to be a holding pond? for the drainage water in the general area.

    We are so incensed by the whole attitude of the CounciL, legal action is being considered by us in regards to the NON DISCLOSURE OF THE FLOODING SITUATION OUTSIDE OF HOME.

    This Council/Council Depts. have an obligation to purchasers of a property when a Flood search is done, to reveal all flooding- not just what they consider relevant.

  17. Sue Brookson 01 Mar 2016 at 11:12 am

    My apologies as comments weren’t coming through via email and I missed this till now. I agree that all flood data must be made available to property purchasers and owners.

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