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  • Floods: Call for better drainage in West Cessnock, video

    2019 - 01.16

    WORRIED: James Street resident Bill Thompson has concerns about a proposed rezoning at the end of his street.Last week’s rainfall highlighted concerns from James Street, Cessnock residents about flash flooding occurring at the end of the street after periods of heavy downpour.

    Video footage showed the flow of rain created a strong torrent that flowed into the paddock at the end of the street – where a 25-lot rezoning is proposed.

    The water completely submerged the gutter and ran onto the footpaths and up the driveways in the street.

    Bill Thompson, who has lived in James Street with wife Barbara for 57 years, said he has requested a proper drainage system for the water to flow into the creek behind his house to prevent the bank up of water that currently floods the end of the street after rainfall.

    He has also put in requests to council three weeks ago after the last storm and then Mayor Bob Pynsent himself last week for the gutters to be cleared out and the potholes to be fixed.

    Mr. Thompson said that the rain runs so badly that, residents have to park their cars with the right wheels on the road and the left wheels on top of the gutter to try and restrict overflow into properties.

    He said it has been an ongoing battle to get council to resolve the issue.

    “We can’t get it through to them,” he said.

    Mr. Thompson also demonstrated concern about the overflow of sewage in their backyard each time it rains.

    He said their manhole rises and seeps sewage into their backyard on occasion, meaning the couple cannot even use their own toilet.

    His neighbour Andrew McGrath said along with the rain flooding the road and gutters, it also rises into his yard as far as his garage each time there is heavy rain.

    The residents also raised concerns about the proposed rezoning, which is is located between the edge of the existing built up area of Cessnock and Black Creek.

    Mr. Thompson said he is strongly opposed to this development and has even had petitions after housing was proposed for the area.

    “It’s wrong, you just don’t need it,” he said.

    “I feel sorry for the people who are going to build in there.”

    A council spokesperson said most of the area to be rezoned is above the one per cent (annual exceedance probability) flood planning level.

    “Those few proposed lots which are marginally below the one per cent (AEP) flood planning level have areas free from flooding to accommodate a building,” the spokesperson said.

    “The rezoning will not impact on the height or extent of existing flooding within the area—this conclusion is supported by appropriate flood study and assessments.

    “In addition to flooding from Black Creek, localised overland flow issues can arise during storm events. Existing underground drainage is limited in the existing urban area and stormwater flows generally occur as overland flows.

    “If the rezoning is approved, works associated with the development may provide limited improvement of the current local drainage issues, however, additional capital upgrade works would be considered by council to address stormwater drainage issues in the existing urban area.”

    See Mr. McGrath’s video below (mild language warning).

    James Street, West Cessnock

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