’Speed at which the Lismore basin filled was very unusual’
LISMORE City Council has explained the Browns Creek pumps have not been able to keep up with the “sheer volume of water” dumped on Lismore today.
Assets Manager Scott Turner said the city’s flood gates and stormwater drains were closed to keep floodwater from the Wilsons River out of the CBD and surrounds, so there was nowhere for further rainfall to go.
“The Browns Creek pumps can pump around 5mm of water per hour from the CBD back into the Wilsons River,” he said.
“Normally, this helps to keep the Lismore CBD dry while the levee is closed and water is pumped back out into the river system.
“Today, we saw Lismore receive more than 46mm of rain in one hour – that’s over nine times the volume of water these pumps can handle.”
Mr Turner, who is also the Lismore Local Emergency Management Officer during natural disasters, said today’s downpour was “extraordinary”.
“The speed at which the Lismore basin filled was very unusual – you simply cannot prepare for a deluge like that,” he said.
“Council follows a strict set of guidelines for operation of more than 30 flood gates and eight pumps to mitigate flood impacts.
“Our system has been implemented as normal and the Browns Creek pumps are currently working at capacity to pump water out of the basin.”