Construction of a fourth and final flood detention basin in the Coffs Creek catchment is set to start this year at Upper Shephard’s Lane after a $2.2m grant was secured from the Federal and NSW Governments.
Three of the four basins in Council’s Flood Mitigation Programme for the catchment have already been built at Bakers Road, Bennetts Road and Spagnolos Road.
The Upper Shephard’s Lane work is due to begin later this financial year and is expected to be finished in the latter part of 2018. The total cost of the project is forecast to be $3.3m.
“The aim of the flood detention basins is to help alleviate the effects of flooding in the Coffs Creek area. They can’t solve the issue alone, but they will certainly ensure that flood levels in a 100-year flood are significantly lower downstream, so that people and their property are as safe as they can be ” said Mick Raby, Council’s Director Sustainable Infrastructure.
“They work by temporarily holding the large volume of rainwater created during a storm and then releasing it slowly into the creek so it reduces the impact of the deluge downstream.”
Funding for the flood detention basins has been raised through a special rate levy, specifically for the Flood Mitigation Programme, following community consultation in 2010. Additional funding was sourced through the Natural Disaster Resilience Program’s Floodplain Grants Scheme, which is jointly funded by the Federal and State governments.
“Overall, the detention basins have proved beneficial in each heavy rain event we’ve had since the first one was built.” said Mr Raby.
In addition to the basins, a Flood Warning System of rain gauges and water level recorders has been developed and installed at key locations around the Coffs Harbour local government area. The data they record is sent directly to the Bureau of Meteorology and State Emergency Services.
“Council has received very positive feedback regarding the assistance this provides to the emergency services during storms,” added Mr Raby.