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Launceston City Council reviews flood plans after wild weekend weather

Monday August 19, 2013 - 15:10 EST
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An intense low crossed Tasmania, bringing damaging winds, rain and high tides. - ABC

The Launceston City Council is reviewing its flood plans after wild weather caused extensive damage over the weekend.

Kings Meadows, Waverley and surrounding rural areas were badly affected by heavy rain and strong winds.

Council engineers are now assessing the damage.

Mayor Albert van Zetten says council is reviewing strategies to better protect homes and businesses in future.

"Not just council storm water, I mean that's definitely a part of that, and that's something we want to address but it's also a lot of people have car parking areas with a lot of surfaces and their drainage on those is not adequate so all the water is going into one area," he said.

"We've got to look at the best way to manage that, to work with the owners of the lands out there to ensure that we can come up with a plan that's going to make a difference."

Ageing infrastructure

The State Emergency Service is blaming failing infrastructure for the inundation of several Launceston homes on the weekend.

City power lines were brought down, roads were closed, and roofs were damaged across the city.

The SES's Gerald van Rongen says poor drainage is to blame for homes being flooded.

"The reality is that the stormwater drains both public and private haven't coped with this high level of rainfall and that's why we're dealing with this high level of workload now," he said.

Worst over

The State Emergency Service is hoping the worst of the wild weather is over, after a busy weekend responding to call-outs.

The service answered 120 calls for help yesterday as strong winds and heavy rain caused flash flooding, fallen trees and damaged roofs.

Spokeswoman Mhairi Revie says she was relieved the weather is finally improving.

"Our crews have been working around the clock for several days now and it'll be nice to give them a bit of a rest up and we also need to have some time now to assess the damage, talk to people about what needs cleaning up and how we can assist there," she said.

A clean up is now under way.

Ms Revie says crews in the Meander Valley, Dorset, West Tamar and George Town regions are now busy mopping up.

Storm-chasing windsurfers have descended on Marrawah in Tasmania's north-west for an international competition.

Competition yesterday was suspended when winds hit nearly 120 kilometres an hour.

Today winds are still high and competition is underway.

Surfers come from Brazil, Germany, Spain, and France.


© ABC 2013

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