Council staff support flood affected Maribyrnong as local flood prep ramps up

City of Port Phillip
Many City of Port Phillip residents are acutely aware of the impacts of flooding with low-lying areas such as Elwood, Balaclava, St Kilda and South Melbourne at risk in heavy rainfall.

Thankfully, when storms and wild weather lashed Melbourne last month, Port Phillip was mostly unscathed. But when our friends north of the Yarra River needed assistance, our Street and Beach Cleaning team was ready to provide their support.

Assembling at the Port Phillip Operations Centre at 4am on Sunday 16 October, Council Officers were ready to help arrange emergency support for the flood affected area of Maribyrnong.

Council’s Street and Beach Cleaning Coordinator Peter Leeming recalled the emergency event.

“The call came through on the Saturday night that they needed some help over at Maribyrnong,” he said.

“They needed help and we were straight in there the next morning. We sent equipment over on the Sunday and then were able to evaluate the situation.

“It’s essential to act immediately in these situations. You really need to get in there and work. You can’t solve it instantly, but you’ve got to get in there and make a start.”

Leeming described the impacts of the flash flooding event as leaving a thick gooey mud everywhere.

“Our work was just about trying to clean the muddied streets and to help out where we could to make the area accessible again,” he said.

Members of the Street and Beach Cleaning team spent four days providing emergency support to the community. This included providing extra staff rotations, sweeping vehicles and equipment, trucks to transport debris and sharing operational knowledge to their counterparts at the Maribyrnong City Council.

The same Street and Beach Cleaning team ensured our own backyard was in order, maintaining and tidying the 12 kilometres of Port Phillip beaches impacted by debris washed ashore.

Council has worked proactively to improve drainage, clean pipes and enhance our knowledge of the stormwater network over the last five years. We now have a greater understanding of how our system performs under different tidal, riverine and stormwater events and have seen the benefits with a reduction in the impacts and severity during storm events.

Be storm and flood ready this summer

Know your risk and be prepared for this summer storm and flood season

November to March is a time of extreme weather, from intense heat to heavy rain and even flash flooding.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) recently declared a ‘La Niña’ climate event which means we should be preparing for an especially rainy and flood prone summer this year.

Storms can affect anyone at any time. However, some Port Phillip areas are at much higher flood risk than others including Elwood, St Kilda, Balaclava and South Melbourne. To stay flood safe, make sure you know your risk, by checking out your local flood guides.

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