Wonder wall kept us dry

Houses along the riverbank of the Clarence River in Grafton. Photo: JoJo Newby / The Daily Examiner
Houses along the riverbank of the Clarence River in Grafton. Photo: JoJo Newby / The Daily Examiner Jojo Newby

SOCIAL media, the SES and even The Daily Examiner received kudos when we asked our Facebook friends for their "Thumbs Up and Thumbs Down" this week.

But the Grafton levee has had praise heaped on it too for the part it played in saving our city from the mighty Clarence.

"Yes, thumbs up to those who all those years ago built us a levee wall," Lesley Wall said.

"The levee wall saved Grafton yet again, we didn't have to shovel mud, we didn't loose power," Judy Hackett said.

No one was prouder than Clarence Valley Mayor Richie Williamson, who praised the structure for doing its job and protecting us.

The 8.23m-high structure was tested to the maximum when water lapped close to its end at just below 8.1 metres.

Cr Williamson said the levee was designed to breach at certain low points to avoid entire areas flooding at the same time, which conflicts with information provided by its designer (see story page 5).

"You need that so you can plan an escape procedure," Cr Williamson said.

"Since the levee was built in 1967 it has never overtopped in Grafton.

"The levee system we have now served the community well and I think our focus needs to be on the maintenance of our existing levees to ensure they serve our community in the future, as well as they have in the past.

"The designers of the levee in 1967 had made provision for this and their work has stood the ultimate test."

Topics:  flood

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