New draft flood plan floats solutions to potential flood problems in Orange

The latest step in a long-term process aimed at preventing potential flood damage in Orange is up for discussion.

Orange City Council has decided to place the draft Flood Risk Management Study and Plan on exhibition for community comment.

The plan outlines a range of solutions to prevent flooding and avoiding damage to property.

Flash flooding at the Bathurst Road/ Cox Avenue intersection

FLOOD: Flash flooding at the Bathurst Road/ Cox Avenue intersection on December 26, 2010. Photo courtesy Cin Culverson

The solutions include:

  • Building earthworks such as levee banks or detention basins, which would slow the movement of floodwaters, preventing damage.
  • Changes to planning measures such as Development Control Plans which would restrict construction in flood-prone areas, or affect the kind of building which could be built.

Orange Mayor Reg Kidd said the Council wants to hear the view of the community before these changes are locked in.

“The NSW Government wants all Councils to look at the local risk of flooding and set out some clear strategies to prevent potential damage,” Cr Reg Kidd said. “The earlier steps in this process where we outlined the scientific findings saw the council host community meetings in 2019 where local residents could look at maps of flood-prone areas and find out if their property could be affected.”

“That was the science. That stage showed the scale of the problems. This next stage looks at the solutions.

“The Council wants to hear the views of the community as we consider a priority list for flood mitigation work in one part of Orange or another.

“It won’t be possible to build any new critical infrastructure in a flood zone so the Council wants to know these locations.

“Potential changes to the Development Control Plan might affect what kind of extension someone can build in their backyard, so they’ll want to know and have their say.”

The flood study found that in the event of a 1 in 100 year flood event:

“129 dwellings that are located in the Blackmans Swamp Creek catchment would experience above-floor inundation, as would 66 commercial/industrial buildings and nine public buildings. At the same level of flooding, a total of 49 dwellings that are located in the adjacent Ploughmans Creek catchment would experience above-floor inundation, as would one

commercial/industrial building and one public building. The total flood damages in Orange resulting from a 1% AEP flood event would amount to $24.5 Million, increasing to $408 Million

for a PMF event.”

Plans to investigate an early warning system that would alert residents in the event of a major flood are also proposed in the plan.

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