Dubbo Regional Council (DRC) staff have been assessing the condition of graves within the Wellington cemetery following the most recent moderate flooding event of the Bell River. Unfortunately, a number of graves have sunk to varied levels due to the ongoing wet weather and prolonged water exposure, particularly gravesites located at the lower end of the cemetery.
Council’s operational staff have taken great care when attempting to fill affected gravesites with top soil, however the ongoing wet weather has made the task impractical and unsafe, with machinery and equipment repeatedly becoming stuck in the over-saturated grounds.
Council staff continue to mow and maintain the surrounding areas ahead of further forecast rain over the coming days. Staff will continue to monitor the condition of the grounds and as soon as practical will, move to carefully fill the sunken areas with top soil.
Council is assessing the flood plain around the cemetery and will liaise with the relevant authorities; the objective: preventing events like recurring. Dispersing water in times of flood can be extremely challenging and it’s important that thorough consultation is carried out with neighbouring landholders.
Council is extremely mindful that this may be distressing for family and friends of loved ones whose gravesites have been affected. Our ongoing thoughts are with those affected and we want to reassure the community we acting as promptly, and safely as possible while minimising any further disruption to the final resting sites of loved ones.