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Sussex Inlet residents fed up with 'preventable' floods after town inundated for second time in five years

By Jessica Clifford, Wednesday July 29, 2020 - 15:39 EST
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Richard Green's marine centre at Sussex Inlet was flooded on Tuesday during the east coast low. - ABC

Residents at Sussex Inlet have expressed concerns about the way flooding is handled in the area, saying they are sick of being under water every time there is a large rain event.

, after an east coast low dumped more than 400 millimetres of rain on the region in two days.

Richard Green, from the Marine Centre in town, said he believed future flooding could be prevented.

He said the sandbar leading to the inlet needed to be dredged.

"We've put a lot of surveys in and a lot of recommendations to alleviate the flooding," Mr Green said.

"It's too much for the people to keep losing their properties and homes — it's just not fair on them."

Sandra Gray, secretary of the Sussex Inlet Community Forum, said she also believed improvements could be made to the town to help stop future floods.

She said she was waiting to see the results of Shoalhaven Council's Flood Study, which had been delayed by more than a year.

"When disasters occur, delays that happen because of government decision making really impacts on the community," Ms Gray said.

"I'm waiting to see the flood study to see what can be done to improve the flow of water.

"We need to work a bit harder and faster to get things completed."

Councillor says dredging is an option

Deputy Mayor and Sussex Inlet resident Patricia White said the council was surveying the channel at Sussex Inlet to determine what had been dumped on the bottom in the past.

She said boats had historically dumped material in the channel as they came in, and people had tried to create artificial reefs in the area.

She said once the surveys were complete, depending on the findings, council would look at ways to make the channel safer and create a better pathway for floodwater to escape.

"Dredging is always an available option and that will be a decision of council," Councillor White said.

"But we can't just go in and take all the sand out because we need to make sure the navigational channel is kept in good order."

She said the flood study was still in its early stages, and acknowledged it was well overdue.

"It needs to be completed," Councillor White said.

"Council staff are following it up."


© ABC 2020

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