Car park un­der water

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - AN­GELIQUE PAT­TER­SON

GUESTS of Beach Ter­races in Port Dou­glas woke last Fri­day to find their cars were go­ing for a swim in the flooded un­der­ground car park.

Af­ter last Thurs­day night’s heavy down­pour, the re­sort’s au­to­matic pump kicked in but the water had nowhere to go with a stormwa­ter drain full and blocked - and the water ran back in.

Hol­i­day­maker Sally Bee­ston from Toowoomba had her rental car parked un­der­ground along with ap­prox­i­mately six other cars and watched on in shock as the car park was slowly drowned.

“I found out about 7.30am and we were told the auto pumps in the base­ment were work­ing per­fectly but the water had nowhere to go and kept go­ing round in cir­cles,” she said.

“We’ve come up to do all the tourist things and are very dis­ap­pointed, ob­vi­ously it’s an iso­lated area, the rest of town is okay, there were high tides as well, they came up to the foot­path.

“The drains aren’t tak­ing the water in, they’re blocked up with trash.”

It was only in the late af­ter­noon when the win­dows of the flooded cars could be seen, tak­ing all day to re­move the water from the car park.

Next door to the re­sort, Castaways had an above-ground car park­ing area that was an­kle-deep in water and one of the unit own­ers Julie Pow­ell said this is not the first time the area had flooded and has been com­plain­ing to coun­cil since 2003.

A storm water drain runs through the mid­dle of the blocks - from David­son St and out to Four Mile Beach, but can­not han­dle the amount of run-off from all the prop­er­ties.

“It’s even worse if it doesn’t flood be­cause the drain be­comes a stink­ing mosquito-breed­ing hole in the dry sea­son,” Ms Pow­ell said.

“We’ve rang and wrote let­ters to the Cairns Re­gional Coun­cil and the Dou­glas Shire Coun­cil and we be­lieve the prob­lem is when they built the beach club, they didn’t build any­more storm drain in­fra­struc­ture.

“The Dou­glas Shire Coun­cil looked at the drain and con­creted it and mucked around but if the drain worked prop­erly this is­sue wouldn’t have been so bad - the drain is too small for ev­ery­one and the water can’t get away.”

Coun­cil main­te­nance and en­gi­neer staff are meet­ing to­day to dis­cuss the im­pacts on last week’s heavy rain on lo­cal ma­jor drains.

Sink­ing feel­ing: the flooded Beach Ter­races car park

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