Gerard and Lynda Hemmings are waiting for the green light from council to take their home to higher ground.
Gerard and Lynda Hemmings are waiting for the green light from council to take their home to higher ground. Emma Channon

Couple keen to move up in world

HAVING lived alongside the Condamine River for more than three decades, Gerard and Lynda Hemmings have seen their fair share of floods - but it was last January's flood that broke the proverbial camel's back.

Three days after eight inches of water crept into the upper level of their home, the pair decided to take action to ensure it wouldn't be repeated.

They plan to build up their yard to the same level as the footpath on Wallace St and thereby raise the home about two metres to prevent water from seeping in.

Although Mr Hemmings has already shifted in some earth from the lower end of their property, they wait for approval from council before they can formally begin work.

"We're now squished upstairs for the time being until something happens," Mrs Hemmings said.

"We moved everything up here in time for the first floods, and apart from a freezer it's stayed up here since. It's hard to keep clean."

Asked whether they considered moving, the pair's answer was a firm "no". "We're not going anywhere - only up and back," Mr Hemmings said.

"We contacted council straight away to get the plan underway but (we've not progressed any further)."

The Hemmings don't have flood insurance, saying they don't believe in it when floods were so few and far between, but are determined to find the money to carry out the changes nevertheless.

"It will drain our purses, but it has to be done," Mr Hemmings said.

"It's not the fact we've had a flood that's been upsetting us, floods are a fact of nature. It's (waiting for something to be done)."

The pair has been through mediation and meetings with council and will have a meeting Thursday with director of engineering Peter See to come to a decision on what can be done.

It is believed council's concerns lie with what changes to the landscape will have on other properties when and if another flood happens.


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