Super pump put on standby as weather conditions ease

TUESDAY 5.28pm: BASED on current Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) predictions, Lismore City Council does not anticipate the need to close the Browns Creek floodgate tonight.

Fire & Rescue NSW firefighters have packed up the high-trans pump designed to help with Browns Creek drainage, but it will remain on standby.

Should further river level rises be issued by the BOM, the floodgate will be closed and the pump deployed.

Some public streets including Keen and Molesworth Streets around Browns Creek will be closed if the pump becomes operational. Please follow all traffic control in the CBD area at all times.

Council continues to monitor the situation and liaise with the NSW SES Lismore City Unit around predicted river levels.

For detailed weather information and ongoing updates, visit www.bom.gov.au and www.ses.nsw.gov.au.
 

TUESDAY 1.19pm: THE super pump from Fire and Rescue NSW, which consists of a submersible pump and hydraulic hoses, was deployed in readiness in Lismore after rain continued to belt the region.

The Hytrans pump, which can move 8000 litres per minute out of the Lismore basin, was placed next to Browns Creek in preparation to deploy 400m of the 1.2km hose and place the submersiable pump into the creek.

The hoses would then go through the Clyde Campbell carpark and across the levee wall to pump water into the river with some public streets including Keen and Molesworth Streets closed in order to run hoses over these streets.

Fire & Rescue NSW leading firefighter Dan Fish, with senior firefighter Derek Baban, said they got the call on Sunday and travelled up stopping over in Port Macquarie on Sunday night.

Senior firefighter Fish said they had been waiting to see if the weather abated before deploying the pump.

"We are more than happy to travel up here to support the combat agency SES," senior firefighter Fish said.

Senior firefighter Baban said they had brought the pump up for the March floods to assist Lismore.

"It moved six million litres in three days.

"It only has to stop to refuel.

"It can keep going for days and days if needed."

Fire & Rescue NSW leading firefighter Dan Fish, with senior firefighter Derek Baban, ready to start the pump at Browns Creek in Lismore.
Fire & Rescue NSW leading firefighter Dan Fish, with senior firefighter Derek Baban, ready to start the pump at Browns Creek in Lismore. Marc Stapelberg

Senior firefighter Baban said it was a popular bit of equipment used in flooded areas, most recently in the south west of the state, as well Kings Cross.

He said it was a state-wide assest but was very versatile and could be used to help drain flooded basements of high rises.

Lismore City Council local emergency management officer Scott Turner thanked Fire & Rescue NSW for their support and quick response. 

The Fire & Rescue NSW pump, which arrived from Sydney yesterday, is designed to supplement pump capacity after damage from the March flood left one Browns Creek pump out of action and the other only partially operational.

"Many people have asked why the pumps were not fixed following the March flood," Mr Turner said.

"This is a major undertaking and one we only do in the driest part of the year between September and November as we don't want to leave ourselves with no pump capacity.

"The Browns Creek pumps are heavy duty pieces of machinery that need to be craned out, sent to a specialised engineering factory in Brisbane for repair and then reinstalled.

It's a three-month process minimum."

SES members have been door knocking in the basin area and parts of East Lismore with more detailed information, and Council will door-knock businesses affected by the pump installation and any loss of access.



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