BREAK DOWN: Warren Saxby at The Fraser Cove flood levy which collapsed during the recent flooding.
BREAK DOWN: Warren Saxby at The Fraser Cove flood levy which collapsed during the recent flooding. SCOTT POWICK

Council brought to task over Fraser Drive flooding

A TWEED man is taking Tweed Shire Council to task over what he calls a failure to adequately prepare for flooding.

Warren Saxby, who lives on Fraser Dr at Tweed Heads South, had his home inundated during the recent super storm, after water broke through what he said was a makeshift flood levy installed by council adjacent to his home.

“On the night of the storm we were watching the water and weren’t in danger of flooding so I went to bed around 7.30pm,” Mr Saxby said.

“An hour-and-a-half later, my wife said we’re flooded and we had a foot of water and it was rising quickly.

“I went to look for the source and the levy had broken. It was like a waterfall coming through and barricades were floating around and cars were floating down the road.”

Mr Saxby estimates he copped $20,000 in damage to his property which he said should have been avoided, following repeated requests to council to prepare for major rains after work began on the new Fraser Cove development earlier this year.

“We had summer squalls three or so months ago and the road flooded out the centre lane, which it had never done,” Mr Saxby said.

“We’ve been here 15 years and it had never flooded out to the middle of the road.

“So I rang the council, put in a complaint and about a week later we got another half inch of rain in an hour and the road flooded again.”

Warren Saxby throws out some of his water damaged belongings after the recent deluge and flooding.
Warren Saxby throws out some of his water damaged belongings after the recent deluge and flooding. SCOTT POWICK

Mr Saxby said he warned council and Fraser Cove developers (Hutchinson’s Builders) the levy would be insufficient in heavy rain after the new development had upset the natural flow of water, which had nowhere to go without the proper infrastructure in place.

“There’s never been stormwater here, all the water went into natural watercourses, but with development came issues,” Mr Saxby said.

“Development blocked up the natural creekway and now that’s gone, we’re relying on man-made pipes to clear water, but they’re not in place yet.

“Before it didn’t matter, as water drained naturally, but now it has nowhere to go, so that’s the big issue I’m pushing as I want storm water (infrastructure) in.”

“I warned them repeatedly, I kept telling them flooding would happen, but they’re just fobbing us off and I’ve had a gutfull of it.”

Hutchinson’s declined to comment.

A council spokesperson said the issue would be investigated.

“Council has had discussions with the owner of the property and visited for site inspections,” the spokesperson said.

“Officers will be in touch with the owner and reinvestigate the matter.”

UPDATE:

After our original story went to press, a council spokespeson contacted the Tweed Daily News and said a council officer had visited Mr Saxby on Tuesday and advised him a bund would be reinstated.

“(The officer) has also spoken to the contractor who advised that the bund was fixed on Friday,” the spokesperson said.

“The bund will help to prevent a small amount of water discharging from the new subdivision to Fraser Drive however the vast majority of flood waters affecting (Mr Saxby’s property) comes from other catchments.”



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