Shellharbour City marks 10-year flood anniversary – Recent NSW floods a reminder to prepare in advance

Shellharbour City Council is raising awareness of flood safety and the importance of flood preparation to mark the 10-year anniversary of one of Shellharbour’s most devastating floods.

On Monday 21 March, 2011 the Illawarra received more than 270mm of rainfall. At the Shellharbour Airport 220 millimetres was recorded within just 5 hours. Council has posted a video about this on its Facebook page:

Across the city, many roads, drains and properties quickly flooded, leading to significant disruption to traffic, damage to property and infrastructure, as well as the death of a man in Warilla.

Since the 2011 flood, Council has secured NSW Government funding to research, identify and map flood prone land in every catchment across the entire city.

Flood management plans have been developed for the communities most vulnerable to flooding. These plans outline where and how development occurs in flood prone areas, how to respond in flood emergencies, and what flood mitigation works can be carried out to alleviate the flood risk.

The 2011 flood provided valuable information about how storm water networks perform in such rare events and as a result council is able to better manage blockage risks to assist the networks to operate as designed.

Council also has an ongoing program for renewing and upgrading storm water infrastructure across the city.

Shellharbour Mayor Marianne Saliba encouraged residents to have a plan in place for any future emergencies.

“Floods are a natural occurrence and the city will continue to be impacted by them,” Cr Saliba said.

“Preparing now and having a flood-safe plan ready to go for your home or business will allow you to act quickly and make decisions to help keep you and your family safe.

“Remember, it only takes a very small amount of inundation by flood water for a car to begin floating and wash away. Driving, walking or playing in flood water can put your life at risk and is simply not worth it,” she said.

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