More than 100 Lake Conjola residents and caravan owners met on Sunday to consider a class action against Shoalhaven City Council following last week’s flooding.
Lake Conjola Community Association president Robyn Kerves said “hundreds of house owners and caravan owners” were in town to mop up over the weekend after homes, streets and caravan parks were inundated as the lake level rose to a peak of 2.08 metres AHD after 290 millimetres of torrential rain.
Resident Col Ashford has consulted a legal firm and organised Sunday’s public meeting claiming if the lake entrance had been open, the extent of flooding would have been greatly reduced.
“I believe if the dredging council has committed to had been done on time in July and early August there would not have been any flooding,” Mr Ashford said.
Mr Ashford said a crowd of 105 had “expressed their anger at the way the community, caravan owners and visitors have been ignored over many topics for many years”.
“None more than the way this lake has deteriorated over the past 20 years and the failure of council staff to deliver the dredging program on time as promised by the mayor and senior council staff,” he added.
“There were calls for the team responsible for the entrance management team to be sacked and there was also support for a class action to be taken out on council.
“The CCB will continue seeking advice on this matter.”
Council’s natural resources and floodplain manager Isabelle Ghetti said “flood risk exists when it rains heavily, even if the lake is already open”.
“Council officers had taken photos of the high tide and the berm was below 1.2 metres,” Ms Ghetti said.
“We knew the lake would breach before the trigger point was reached and that was confirmed at 7.30am on Tuesday morning.
“We advised that the lake would continue to rise, by then there had been almost 250 millimetres of rain.
“Flood modelling shows in such conditions, even if the entrance had been open, it would not have changed the peak flood level.
Ms Ghetti said the lake peaked at 7.30pm Tuesday night just over two metres.