NOT CONVINCED: Depot Hill resident Daryl Chilcott doesn't think the flood levee will be enough to protect his home.
NOT CONVINCED: Depot Hill resident Daryl Chilcott doesn't think the flood levee will be enough to protect his home. Aden Stokes

Depot Hill family still concerned by risk of flash flood

DESPITE Rockhampton Regional Council's promise that thousands of homes will be protected by the flood levee, including those in Depot Hill, one family isn't convinced the levee will be enough to protect their house.

Depot Hill resident Daryl Chilcott, who lives on Kent St, said the flood levee was only going to fix one third of their problems.

"The flood levee will block most of the flood coming in off the Fitzroy River, but it's not going to help with the drainage," Mr Chilcott said.

"We have got no drainage down here. We have septic and that's it.

"We need proper storm drainage, so any flood water that goes into the drain leaves the area instead of building up and having nowhere to go.

"All we have got is a little creek out the back and it fills up, and when that happens the backyard fills up.

"Because we are down the bottom of Rockhampton, whatever the water level is in the Fitzroy River - that's us.

"As soon as that little creek floods, we are flooded.

"The water level in the ground itself is the same as what is in the river. It's not going to stop the water from coming up and turning our backyard into a swimming pool.

"When it rains it floods."

 

Daryl Chilcott pointing out where the flood reached in 2011 (top) and 2013 (below).
Daryl Chilcott pointing out where the flood reached in 2011 (top) and 2013 (below). Contributed

The 45-year-old said a lot more needed to be done.

"If they are going to fix Depot Hill, they best bring in more dirt and lift all the house yards back up," he said.

"Depot Hill itself is fine, but everywhere else around it floods.

"Even if you build up that levee, we are still going to be below, so without proper drainage or something to lift the area we will always flood."

Mr Chilcott said where his house was built was once a swamp and dump area.

He said during the 2011 flood, the house was about a metre and a half underwater.

"We had to use a shell pool to get our dog out, so he could go to the toilet," he said.

"All down below us was all flooded, everyone was parking their cars up the street. No-one could do anything.

"We had to move the power board onto the roof under the house.

"We stay home during the floods, it was safer for us to stay here because people come along on boats to break in."

 

Depot Hill, Rockhampton properties surrounded by water as the Fitzroy River floods.   Photo Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin   ROK050111-flood-c43
Depot Hill, Rockhampton, properties surrounded by water as the Fitzroy River floods (2011). Chris Ison

He said he doesn't believe there is much the council can do to stop their area from flooding.

"They are going to have to try and lift up the ground and get us the same level as the hill, but there will be too many houses they will have to lift up for that," he said.

"Even if they did put in drainage, I imagine it would back up anyway like it does in town, but at least there would be a flow."

Rockhampton Regional Council have responded to the concerns raised by Mr Chilcott.

Council claims floodwater backing up through the main drain and flooding houses in Kent St, Depot Hill, would no longer be a problem.

General manager of regional services Peter Kofod said all properties in Kent Street at Depot Hill would be protected by the flood levee.

"One of the issues Kent Street has faced in the past is the backing up of floodwater through the main drain," Mr Kofod said.

"A combination of flood gates on the main drain, backflow prevention devices and an internal drainage system designed to intercept water and send it to a pump station is expected to mitigate the flooding."