What's changed since Coffs Harbour's last great flood

A DECADE on from the last big flood to inundate the city centre and works have now been completed to reduce history repeating itself.

Ten years since the 2009 flood, and Coffs Harbour City Council is preparing for a milestone moment celebrating the completion of its fourth and final detention basin in the Coffs Creek catchment as the centrepiece of the city's $20-million Flood Mitigation Program.

"Since 2009, Council has been very focused on trying to reduce the impact of future flooding on the community and our economy," Coffs Harbour Mayor councillor Denise Knight said.

 

The last time the Coffs Harbour city centre flooded in 2009.
The last time the Coffs Harbour city centre flooded in 2009. TREVOR VEALE

"Unfortunately, the very geographical features that make this area such a wonderful place to live, the hills around us, the creeks and waterways, make us vulnerable to flood events.

As well as four detention basins, an early warning system directly linked ot the SES and Bureau of Meterology has been put in place.

The four detention basins have now been constructed and completed.
The four detention basins have now been constructed and completed. Matthew Deans

"We've made improvements to the northern tributaries of Coffs Creek to ease flow and upgraded the CBD stormwater infrastructure. In addition, we've looked at what we can do from a planning point of view to reduce the potential for damage to businesses and homes from flooding.

 

The basins are located in Bakers Rd, Bennetts Rd, Spagnolos Rd and Upper Shephards Ln.

 

The last time the Coffs Harbour city centre flooded in 2009.
The last time the Coffs Harbour city centre flooded in 2009. TREVOR VEALE

The basins operate by capturing the water run-off created during a storm event and then releasing it slowly into the creek so that the impact of the deluge is reduced downstream.

"But we've never claimed to have a silver bullet. Flooding is, by its very nature unpredictable and the basins can't solve the problem alone. But they will certainly ensure that flood levels in a 100-year event are significantly lower downstream so that people and their property are as safe as they can be." 

 

The last time the Coffs Harbour city centre flooded in 2009.
The last time the Coffs Harbour city centre flooded in 2009. TREVOR VEALE

Coffs Harbour Mayor Councillor Denise Knight will mark the completion of the fourth and final major flood detention basin for the Coffs Creek catchment on Wednesday, June 12 at Upper Shephards Lane Detention Basin, Pearce Drive, Coffs Harbour.



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