As the Mid-Western region heads into another storm season, recovery from the previous season is still continuing.
The region suffered extensive damage in the October 2016 floods and again during the January storm that ripped through Mudgee’s CBD.
In relation to the January storm, Mid-Western Regional Council general manager Brad Cam explained Council have, ‘gone through a rigorous replacement program’ in Lawson and Blackman Parks.
“The only area that we still haven’t finalised is the Manchurian Pears that we lost in that storm in Market Street and Church Street,” he said.
“The Manchurian Pears are here, the staff are just finding a way to work out how to remove the old tree stump and roots without breaking existing pavements and roads. So that’s going to happen before Christmas.”
Mr Cam explained the first focus after the storm was Lawson Park, “because that was a sea of devastation’.
“Unfortunately we didn’t get funding for the street trees, we got some funding for the clean-up, but we got no funding for tree replacement, so that has had to come out of existing budgets,” he said.
“We’ve had to suspend a couple of other street beautification programs that we were going to do, to replace the large number of trees lost in the parks and in the CBD.”
A large-scale clean up of Lawson Creek, at the back of the race course, was also recently undertaken.
“We were unaware of the devastation of the trees that dropped into the creek,” Mr Cam said.
“EPA came and had a look and recognised that if we had another major storm that debris would actually cause further destruction downstream, perhaps even take out the causeways over Ulan Road.
“So, they gave us approval to remove all that debris through there.”
Those works, worth $35,000 to Council, were completed in October this year.
Mr Cam explained Council are still working through damage on the roads due to the October 2016 flooding.
“The State Government gave us over a million dollars to do the repairs, most of the damage was on the gravel roads, so we’re doing a number of re-sheeting programs and grading programs to fix those storm damage areas.”
“You can’t predict the storm, sometimes the ferocity does do further damage, and we’re geared up to make sure that if people lose access because of floods or trees going across the road, our crews are geared up to handle it and get people access back into their properties.”