An aerial picture of Lismore in the May 2009 flood.
An aerial picture of Lismore in the May 2009 flood. DAVID NIELSEN

Stop-gap to plug flood levee

ABOUT 75 cubic metres of gravel will be used to plug a 10 centimetre wide crack in Lismore’s flood levee if the Wilsons River starts rising before damage to the wall can be fixed.

Richmond River County Council chairman John Chant yesterday revealed the stop-gap measure as he conceded there remained no time frame for the repair of the levee.

Mr Chant was speaking before a tour of the river with Page MP Janelle Saffin, Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell, Richmond River County Council floodplain services manager Michael Wood, and Southern Cross University Environmental Science head Professor Jerry Vanclay.

The crack appeared after a section of land 20 metres long and five metres wide behind the Newtrain building in Club Lane slumped, presumably after last May’s flood.

The slump put that entire section of the levee at risk of collapsing and Cr Chant said the gravel would be needed to support the levee wall during a flood as much as to plug the crack.

Richmond River County Council floodplain services manager Michael Wood said the section of levee wall that was slipping was similar to other sections running behind buildings.

However, that section had the misfortune of being directly opposite Leycester Creek, which acted as a giant gurney, blasting the levee wall as water rushed from the creek at a speed of three metres per second over several days during the last flood.

Cr Chant said the county council had settled on two options for repairing or replacing the damaged section, but he did not want to reveal the details until gov- ernment funding for the project could be found.

Ms Saffin and Cr Dowell said they, along with Lismore MP Thomas George, would work together to find funding from each level of government to put towards the project.

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