Council experts at the Cooroy meeting.
Council experts at the Cooroy meeting. Peter Gardiner

'Don't let us go under again'

COOROY was hit by the fiercest flash flooding ever recorded on the Sunshine Coast in February and the devastated people living in the impact zone have pleaded with the council not to let it happen again.

The super rain cell that dropped its liquid bombshells over Cooroy starting February 24, according to official Bureau of Meteorology records, had local streets awash and homes flooded with 328mm in six hours and 182mm in just an hour.

A council hydrologist who addressed a public post-flood meeting at Cooroy State School on Thursday night said in all his years he had never come across figures like them.

The deluge was more extreme than unprecedented Kawana flash floods this year, bigger than the Kenilworth flood falls of 1983 and 1898 and bigger than the rain event that sent a wall of water crashing through Kin Kin in 2009.

But despairing locals who live around Cooroy Park, Oak St and Ashgrove Dr - just some of the hardest hit streets - say these figures do not begin to tell the real damage.

They said the recorded falls in their gauges were far more intense, more like 328mm dumped in three hours.

An emotional Ashgrove Dr spokesman, who has just moved back into his home, finished his address to council fighting back tears.

He said: "We had these floods in February - it wasn't the first time - in 2005 and 2008 and 2010 and now 2012.

"There was 350mm in a day there and in our back garden copped a flogging," he said.

"There were eight homes down there devastated. We don't want it to happen again."

They wanted their rain records taken into account now that council is looking to do another flood study at the site to see where any hydrology "efficiencies" to lessen any further blows, can be made.

Residents don't want council to underestimate what can and has happened.

Local Sunshine Coast Councillor Tony Wellington and the council panel of experts gathered said that all and any information - as long as it was reliable - was welcome.

The Ashgrove Dr spokesman implored council not to spend more on finding "bureaucratic stuff".

"Let's spend it on practical stuff. Let's not spend money on investigations."

Another speaker urged council just to "get in and do something". Cr Wellington, who supported the formation of a community reference group into local flood mitigation, said he appreciated their points of view.

"We can throw money at the problem, but we have to make sure we're throwing it at the right site," Cr Wellington said.

A council consultant engineer has recommended council complete a two dimensional hydraulic modelling similar to its 2010 model, look to the upgrade of the Garnet St culverts and any other drainage improvements.

Council's drainage expert said there would now be extensive information as part of a flood survey as well as attempts to get state agency permission to clear up the Cooroy Creek and any other water bottlenecks.

As for the Garnet St culverts upgrade, he said a local real estate developer "has been conditioned to do that".

"I've spoken to their engineers, those culverts will be upgraded. However they need to sell a certain percentage of those lots before they will get around to doing those culverts," he said.

"The guestimate that was referred to me was probably six months - so within the next year.

"That's something that we're going to push but we don't control ... we will be continuing to discuss with them and be pushing it along if we can."


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