Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Rainfall, Vegetation Caused Flash Flooding: Council Why Did It Flood in Our Street; Flooding Angers Residents

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Rainfall, Vegetation Caused Flash Flooding: Council Why Did It Flood in Our Street; Flooding Angers Residents

Article excerpt

Byline: Kieran Moran Kieran.Moran@dailymercury.com.au

WHEN more than 100mm of rain fell in the first few hours across the Mackay CBD on Tuesday night, there was always going to be some localised flooding.

But as the streets went under water, local residents sharing pictures with The Daily Mercury showed streets being turned into creeks, and drivers "hit" with "walls of water" with little or no warning.

In the cross-hairs was the Mackay Regional Council.

Despite years of heavy rain and flash flooding in the region Mackay's stormwater system wasn't coping with the deluge.

The worst affected areas in Mackay's CDB were South Mackay to the southern end of the Shakespeare St and East Mackay.

But Mackay Regional Council has fired back stating that the localised flooding was a result of, amongst other things, intense rainfall and vegetation blocking the stormwater drains.

Further, CEO Craig Doyle said the region's floodgates were a non-issue overnight Tuesday.

"The amount of rainfall that occurred in some parts of the region were excessive," Mr Doyle said.

"The sheer amount of water that was experienced in such a short amount of time exceeded the capacity of some of the region's underground systems, resulting in a surcharge of water.

"Other contributing factors were high tide levels which reached 4.17m at 2.33am and vegetation blocking some stormwater culverts, which restricted water flow in these areas."

However, local residents who wrote in to the Daily Mercury, and contacted us via social media, claimed the flooding had occurred because drains hadn't been opened.

"The floodgates at Shellgrit Creek catchment are automatically activated by water pressure and operated as expected and the floodgates at Sandfly Creek, which flows into the Pioneer River, were open," Mr Doyle said.

"While some areas in South and West Mackay were affected by stormwater inundation, Sarina's rural zone was the most impacted after receiving 270mm of rain in less than 24 hours."

"Vegetation blocks our drains, which made it difficult for water to filter through the drainage system, which increases the risk of flooding. …

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