Fears massive sand build-up could cause flooding
SUNSHINE Coast Council is closely monitoring a massive sand build-up in the Maroochy River, amid concerns it could trigger serious flooding after heavy rains.
An action plan is being compiled after a recent inspection of the area by senior council staff and councillors.
Their concerns are shared by local residents, including Mudjimba's Anne Elliot, who has seen several major floods in the area and fears a catastrophe if the sandbanks are not dredged soon.
Local councillor Jason O'Pray said the growing volume of sand was a concern, but had not reached crisis point.
"It's high, but it's not at danger levels yet," he said.
"If it gets to danger levels and is a risk, we will be all over it in a flash.
"If we get a big wet right now, it's more than likely in a safe order, but you never know."
The inspection, which included mayor Mark Jamieson, had revealed the extent of the problem, he said.
"We went out on an outgoing tide and it was blatantly obvious how much sand is in the river - it's massive.
"That sand in the middle of Maroochy River is the size of Cotton Tree as a suburb."
Mrs Elliot, who remembers previous floods lapping the front of her home in Nojoor Rd, on the north side of the river, said the sandbanks would prevent water quickly escaping to the sea, resulting in overflow through Maroochydore, Twin Waters and Mudjimba.
"Across from Nojoor Rd to the other side of the river, there's a very solid sand bank, and that's not normal," she said.
Council had dredged the river in previous years but it hadn't been carried out for some time.
With her insurance premiums increasing $132 to cover flooding and council rates to rise 5%, she said some of the money should be allocated for dredging.
Mark Planck, of Swan Boat Hire, said he had definitely noticed sand build-up, which meant boaties struggled to navigate the river at low tide.
"Big floods every 10 years seem to flush it out, but we haven't had one for quite a few years, so we're probably overdue for one," Mr Planck said.
"It's been building up for a fair while, but I don't think it's at dangerous or critical levels."