Wagga residents continue to fear floods as levee bank upgrade continues

Three years ago – floodwaters swept through Baylis Street. 

Flooding has hit Wagga several times over the years, leaving a massive clean-up job behind. 

But it was the 2012 March floods that truly rocked the region and it’s those devastated memories that still sit in the back of residents minds.  

It’s a fear that North Wagga Residents’ Association president Dan Grentell said often consumes people when they read the Bureau of Meteorology’s predictions.

While the levee bank is finally on its way after years of debate, Mr Grentell said residents remained on edge. 

“In December we had a scare where there was chance for moderate to major flooding in Wagga and people were nervous,” he said. 

“Nothing even came of it but it’s always here in the back of people’s minds.”

Wagga council commercial operations director Caroline Angel confirmed on Tuesday works had progressed from the Flowerdale Lagoon to the Gobba Bridge. 

“They are tracking on schedule and recommenced on Monday after stopping work after Christmas,” she said. 

“Works have also commenced outside the  Monumental Cemetery.” 

Ms Angel said designs for stage two were still being finalised.  

Positions are currently available for two community members on the Wagga City Council Floodplain Risk Management Advisory Committee. 

Last year’s draft risk management study drew criticism, leaving residents calling for council to extend the plan’s public display period.

“All submissions are currently being reviewed and looked at in context of the draft report,” she said.

“They will be considered at the next committee meeting in February where it will be endorsed or more discussion will be held.

“Wagga is obviously built next to a very large river and there a lot of affected flood plain residents, we want representatives from a good section of those.” 

Mr Grentell said despite progress, residents remained concerned. 

“People here in North Wagga want to be as equal as everyone else and have the same protection – we don’t feel we should be treated any less from the rest,” he said. 

“As far as the levee bank goes it’s been going on forever.”

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