THE March floods devastated the villages of Yenda, Yoogali and Hanwood, inundating hundreds of homes
and causing millions of dollars of damage to personal property, crops
Since the water subsided, residents have been fighting for an inquiry into one of the worst natural disasters the region has ever seen.
The people of Yenda have made it clear they won’t stop fighting until a solution is found to guarantee a similar event will never happen again.
After months of criticism, council last week agreed on a policy to support flood victims with 200kl of free water and an undertaking to look into projects to alleviate Yenda’s drainage issues.
Council is also in the early stages of a full-scale flood study for the Mirrool Creek catchment and a review of its 2011 Main Drain J flood study.
Brett Stonestreet, Griffith City Council general manager:
“At the first December meeting, councillors will consider a schedule of projects for stormwater drainage improvement in Yenda and Yoogali and make a decision on what projects council will take on. We are still investigating a proposal by the Yenda Rotary Club to prevent minor flooding in the town and this will be ongoing. Councillors will be kept up-to-date on all projects and will have input throughout. These projects, including the long-term flood study, will remain a high priority for the new council, I am sure.”
Kay Pelizzer, Yenda Progress Association president:
“The new council needs to get something done about the East Mirrool Regulator (an escape that was blocked at the time of the floods and remains blocked today) to give people in Yenda peace of mind that it’s not going to happen again. It’s bad enough going through the loss of homes and property but to know that we would flood again in the same circumstances is just too much for some people.”
The severity of the floods took everyone by surprise – residents, council and even the SES. Councillors and council staff are to be commended for working around the clock during the floods to keep residents safe and roads accessible. The important thing now is protecting our villages and their communities. Council must persevere with its flood inquiries and complete the resulting recommendations as soon as possible so residents can feel safe again. It is important all councillors remember how heavily the disaster has affected their constituents and remain open to offering assistance wherever possible.