Mother Nature's 'mudslide' wreaks havoc in new estate
INCREDIBLE images have shown the havoc wreaked by wild weather on part of a major residential development site.
Construction sites at Parklakes 2, a residential housing project in Bli Bli, were turned into torrents of mud and silt, after sediment traps set up to contain the run-off were overpowered.
Tony Isaacson had spent two days landscaping a friend's yard before the storms ripped through last week.
He said the deluge sent muddy water flooding through his friend's yard, undoing the landscaping work, as the sediment-filled water cascaded "like Niagara Falls" over a wall and into the yard.
Mr Isaacson said it was "reprehensible" that so much water had escaped the handful of cleared building sites.
He said sediment traps set up to prevent the flow had been no match for the amount of water.
"The sediment traps were ineffective," Mr Isaacson said.
He said it was the second time it'd happened, after water inundated the yard of the house on the corner of Kingfisher Dr and Wattlebird Cl in October after another "cloudburst" delivered widespread rainfall across the Coast.
Parklakes 2 project coordinator Nathan Squassoni said about 40 hay bales had been brought in to help catch the water after earlier downpours sent water underneath mesh fencing and along Wattlebird Cl.
Mr Squassoni said there was still "no excuse for it" coming down, but the builders were doing their best on the sloping blocks, which were usually the final homes to go up.
"Sloping ones are always the last to go," he said.
Mr Squassoni said it was up to individual builders to control sediment run-off on each block and he said they were taking extra measures to try and prevent incidents.
Driveways on the sloping blocks had been poured first, instead of last, to reduce the amount of loose soil that could be swept downhill, to try and alleviate the problem.
"They (builders) do their best," Mr Squassoni said.
"Obviously with sloping blocks it's always even more challenging.
"It looked like a bit of a farm with all those hay bales. It was a deluge, that's for sure."
He said he was constantly checking weather forecasts and alerting the builders in advance and he had done that again this week with more foul weather forecast for Thursday.
Mr Isaacson believed stormwater diversions were best constructed in a semi-circular design to send water either left or right past the area of risk.
"Putting straight lines across a downhill slope is not working," he said.
He acknowledged diversion walls had been put in place by developers and the intensity of the rainfall was a massive challenge in a changing climate.
Mr Squassoni said 95 per cent of blocks in Parklakes 2 had been built upon so far.