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Byron Shire
February 5, 2023

Flooded by Cyclone Debbie

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Edith Franks, Byron Bay

On 31st March, water from “Cyclone Debbie” could not exit the stormwater outlet from my property into council’s drain in the walkway council control and own behind my house.

The water backed up through the pipe and cascaded the right hand walls of my house. This water then flooded the ground level of my garage.

A high-pressure machine from Ballina was hired and paid for by me to clean out the stormwater pipe.

The problem proved to be a blockage by roots from a tree behind council’s stormwater outlet. I contacted council by letter. Two phone calls to them went on answered.

From council came two men.

They examined a cement cover for the outlet (broken into seven large clumps, and upon which our local children were delighted to find holes to poke sticks into, a very dangerous place for them).

The men measured and decided to replace the cover. They did not comment on the expansion and blockage of more tree roots into their stormwater pipes.

I was informed that council had no responsibility for the flooding and subsequent damage to my home. The right-hand wall, in fact all walls, are mildewed and unhealthy.

The skirting board has fallen away. I am an old age pensioner of 90 years.

I must obtain help for this damage. What frightens me most is the continued damage of water in my home because the roots of the large tree will certainly do them mischief again.

I wish to know why council will not attend to it and why I should be expected to repair my house again and again.

Is that not a better answer?

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  1. Edith Franks, My sympathies go out to you Edith & actually your frustration is shared as with the massive issues from so many areas. The blocked drains, creeks, rivers, debris piled high is not to be even considered to be a problem to council or state government – they have their flood mitigation dollars, but to clean drains, etc, just does not come into the equation as they have their expensive flood studies – ‘that are gospel’ – continuing stress to homeowners doesn’t really come into the picture. Their flood studies tell us or potentially, how high the floods are supposed to come. Dealing with floods, or the aftermath is acceptable – really preventing the height of a flood or areas covered, is not in the equation even though their expensive flood mitigation (state too don’t forget) studies warn us about blockages from blocked drains, rock walls blocking tidal flow, acknowledgment of same, is ignored. Their expensive studies state, potential, likely, etc., planning must happen – plans for 2070 have to be done. Plans must be done – consequently – continuing studies – I read even one ‘warning’ was in relation to 1 million years. Now that is planning. Jillian Spring


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