Kidd St victim critical of drain

Cresta Richardson, a Kidd St resident recently inundated by floodwaters, has challenged the council to maintain the drain behind her house.
Cresta Richardson, a Kidd St resident recently inundated by floodwaters, has challenged the council to maintain the drain behind her house. Tara Miko

CRESTA Richardson has a story all too familiar in Emerald.

In 2008, she watched helplessly as her house was inundated by fetid floodwaters that would later engulf a large portion of the town.

Then, in 2010, her family home succumbed to the same fate, but on a much larger scale.

“In this flood, I watched the waters rise from the back of my home as well,” Ms Richardson said as she stood outside the Flood Information Session at McIndoe Park on Monday night.

Ms Richardson said meetings held in her local Kidd St area with other residents had highlighted the contributing effect the drain had during the 2008 flood.

She said residents had expressed concerns at the 2008 flood meeting, and although the CHRC and firefighters attempted to take preventative measures, they were restricted by wet weather in the lead-up to the 2010 flood.

“The water just seems to sit there because it can’t get over the road,” she said.

“There’s no way of knowing for sure if (clearing the drain) could have prevented it or lessened it to some extent, but you’ve got to wonder.”

She was at the meeting last night to remind the council about the importance of maintaining the drain.

“One of the concerns raised in meetings I’ve been to is about the drain and how it must be deepened,” she said.

“I can’t speak for everybody but people are talking about the fact water could not get away.

“That’s a concern because it’s only a narrow drain.”

Disaster Management Group representative at the meeting, Bill Wilkinson, said the drain was only designed for a one in 10-year flood event, and data captured from the most recent event would be considered in future preventative planning measures.

“Whether in fact the drain impeded the water flow is something we will (look into) in consultation with SunWater,” Mr Wilkinson said.

“Understanding what volumes we are dealing with on that side of town is thoroughly important, and will be taken into consideration.”

That response, Ms Richardson said, was positive and gave her hope correct measures will be adopted by the CHRC.

“I’m happy with the response from the council and the way they answered my questions, but I can’t help but feel more can be done in the future,” she said.

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