Launch of Kempsey CBD flood marker and brochure

Joint media release - 4 July 2018

The NSW State Emergency Service (SES) and Kempsey Shire Council are inviting the community to a morning tea to mark the renewal of the Kempsey CBD flood marker in the Clyde Street Mall. The free morning tea will take place at the Clyde Street Mall on Wednesday 18th July starting at 9:30am.

The original flood maker was installed back in 1999 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the devastating 1949 Macleay River floods in which six lives were lost and many businesses and homes destroyed.

The aim of the revitalisation project is to highlight the key river heights at the Kempsey flood gauge by using the original flood marks together with the addition of vibrant colours and newspaper images from past floods in order to give a historical context to the impacts of flooding on the Kempsey CBD and the Macleay Valley.

The marker will now indicate the approximate heights at the Kempsey flood gauge at which the Cochrane, Eden and RSL levees may overtop and the peak flood heights for previous major floods on the Macleay that have caused the complete inundation of the Kempsey CBD. These events include the 2001, 1963, 1950 floods and the 1949 flood that peaked at 8.52 metres.

The project has been a partnership between NSW SES, Kempsey Shire Council, Macleay River Historic Society, local artist ‘Indo’ and NRMA Insurance who have provided funding towards this community safety initiative.

The marker project has been part of a wider NSW SES and Council community flood awareness strategy that has also seen the updating of the Kempsey CBD flood information brochure.

The brochure is a guide to what happens in the Macleay during floods and what to do before, during and after floods to minimise risks to personal safety and property damage. Copies of the flood brochure will be available at the morning tea or by contacting the NSW SES.

While at the morning tea people will also be encouraged to have a look at an exhibition of historical flood photos being conducted by the Macleay River Historic Society to coincide with the flood marker and brochure launch.

NSW SES Mid North Coast Region Controller, Tony Day said, “The flood marker is another way in which we can communicate to the community the significant flood risk that exists in the Macleay.

Mr Day continued by saying, “This is another example of NSW SES partnering with other organisations to better provide information to the community that will help to save lives and protect communities during major flood events.”

Kempsey Shire Council Mayor Cr Liz Campbell said, “I encourage the community to come along to the morning tea and familiarise themselves with the key flood heights that will be important for people to know before the next big flood occurs.”

Mayor Campbell continued by saying, “It is important for all residents in the Macleay to have a flood emergency plan and be aware the river can rise very rapidly. Its critical for residents and businesses in the CBD to know their river height triggers for action and be prepared to act early”.

Further information can be found on the NSW SES - Mid North Coast Region Facebook page 

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For emergency assistance in floods and storms call NSW SES on 132 500. For more information visit www.ses.nsw.gov.au