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Fear for flooding – West Terrace residents call for stormwater maintenance

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Will HunterYorke Peninsula Country Times

Residents on West Terrace, Kadina, are pleading with Copper Coast Council for improvements to surrounding stormwater facilities before further rain.

Two recent events, including almost 98 millimetres of rain in Kadina over four days at the start of December, have put residents on flood watch.

Their fears originate from an incident in 2016, when water rose to ankle depth at properties along West Terrace and Paulson road.

While works have been flagged and completed as part of council’s stormwater management plan, residents fear their properties remain at risk of flooding.

Craig Jones and Robyn Wyatt are among homeowners who have been trying to organise a meeting with council — now scheduled for Wednesday, December 20 — to discuss the ongoing maintenance and upgrade plans for the area’s stormwater facilities.

“We just want to talk to council and find out what their plans are for our area in the event of more rainfall, because we are more concerned at the minute than we have been for some time,” Mr. Jones said.

“No amount of sandbags will be able to protect our homes if we have any more rain, and we’re concerned if we do see more rainfall over Christmas, council won’t be around to assist us with any potential flooding.”

Mr Jones said he believes all it will take is one more inch of rain for homes surrounding the south and west terrace catchments to be put at serious risk.

“The catchments are more than full at the moment and will take many months to properly dry up,” he said.

“At the same time, stormwater from the previous rainfall events is still being pumped from the Kadina township and through our drain on West Terrace, which means we’re unable to handle much more rainfall before we will flood.”

“Before the large rainfall event a few weekends ago, we had about an inch of rain which caused flooding to our property, the kids and I had to get out of bed and begin barricading the gates,” Mr Jones said.

“Coupled with the enormous amount of rain we had shortly after, it seriously will not take much to put all properties at risk between West Terrace and Paulson Road.”

Long-time resident Robyn Wyatt said the ongoing risk of flooding had caused her a great deal of stress.

“We’re too scared to go away, and whenever we do, we always have to make sure we’re around before any forecast rain,” Mrs Wyatt said.

“When we do flood, it isn’t just stormwater either, it is often filled with sewage which comes up through the septic systems.

“Whenever we do see people come out to look at or unblock them (the drains), the debris is often left on the side of the embankments which means it ends up clogged again anyway.”

Copper Coast Council director of Infrastructure Services Tim Neumann said council prepares for any forecast weather event through its emergency preparedness processes.

“Council also manages a large stormwater network and is continually and proactively upgrading and maintaining these networks,” Mr Neumann said.

“The West Terrace stormwater catchment effectively managed the recent rain event, which was just under 100mm of rainfall.

“All run-off was contained to the detention basins, swale drains and roads, with no reported inundation to residents’ properties, as has been the case in other events.”

Mr Neumann said it was neither practicable nor economically viable to construct such networks to cope with unprecedented weather events.

“Inevitably there is only so much water any catchment area can take,” Mr Neumann said.

“Council has a five-year Stormwater Management Plan in place for Kadina, which does identify required works for the West Terrace and Paulson Road catchment area.

“Design options for this next phase of the upgrade are progressing for this area following the recent completed upgrade to the Paulson Road stormwater catchment which forms part of the entire upgrade area.

“This includes the upsizing of the swales along Drain Road, West Terrace and Lipson Road plus upgrading culverts.”

Yorke Peninsula Country Times 19 December 2023

This article appeared in Yorke Peninsula Country Times, 19 December 2023.

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