East Bundaberg man Bernie McGarry has grave concerns about flooding after Bundaberg Regional Council started building up the land opposite his home.
East Bundaberg man Bernie McGarry has grave concerns about flooding after Bundaberg Regional Council started building up the land opposite his home. Scottie Simmonds

Flood fears over land

RESIDENTS in flood-prone East Bundaberg streets fear their homes are at higher risk from floodwaters after council workers raised land on a nearby block.

The council-owned land, which backs on to Collins and Highland Sts and is used for stockpiling materials, has been raised to improve and increase the storage area.

But nearby residents fear the increase could mean the difference between their homes being flooded in the future and staying dry.

Highland St man Bernie McGarry has lived in his home since 1983 and watched floodwaters come uncomfortably close to swallowing his home in the 2010 Christmas floods.

"The laundry is at ground level and it went (about a foot) through it," he said.

"Luckily it didn't get in the house."

But Mr McGarry thinks changes to the land across the street could mean he will not be so lucky next time.

"I'd say we'd get water inside now - I'm sure it will be worse with this," he said.

"I'd like to see them put proper drains in so the water gets taken out to the river instead of just building up."

Bundaberg Regional Council roads and drainage operations manager Adam Wyatt said the council had been mindful of the effects the work would have on drainage in the area.

"Council does not expect the work which it has carried out to affect any future flooding levels in the area," Mr Wyatt said.

"Council believes that the backwater affect from the Burnett River, in events like that seen last year, controls the flood level in the area."

Mr Wyatt said while many of the residents had estimated the height the land had been raised was one or two metres, it was about 500mm on average.

But residents remain unconvinced.

Reginald and May Scott, who have lived at their Collins St home for 60 years, said while their downstairs laundry and bathroom were swamped in the floods, their home was spared from the waters.

"It would have to come up higher now," Mrs Scott said.

"If they build the land any higher, (the water) will come in."

Greg Thompson had been renting a two-storey home on Collins St for almost two years and said the water made it up to the fourth step of his home during the floods.

"When it rained not long ago, the drain filled up in about five minutes," he said.

"If (the flooding) happens again, it will be another one or two metres higher."



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