By Tony Bosworth | Hawkesbury Post
Jeanette Hayden knows she is not alone when it comes to Hawkesbury floods damage, but the North Richmond pensioner says she “felt numb” after her whole garden backing onto Redbank Creek was swept away in the March floods, while her fight for assistance is certainly proving less than smooth.
“Thirty years of hard work, and the memories I had with my husband and my children have just gone down the Hawkesbury,” she says.
In the 2020, 2021, and now 2022 floods, Redbank Creek swelled to levels few locals have ever seen but it was the March floods this year which did the major damage, essentially taking Ms Hayden’s creek-side garden away and down to the river, leaving a massive crater below the rear of her home.
Back on March 13, Ms Hayden – who is in her 70s – got in touch with Hawkesbury Council and did the right thing, filled in the correct forms, and yet is still waiting over a month later for flood debris to be removed from her front lawn, roadside at Susella Crescent.
To make matters worse, she called Council late last week and they told her the debris – which a RAAF clean-up team removed from the remains of the rear garden – had been picked up. Clearly it hasn’t – when the Post visited it was still there.
“Thirty years of hard work and effort, and money in planting the trees, maintaining the garden, putting the steps …. has just gone down the Hawkesbury. It’s depressing and I’m having nightmares.
“The biggest nightmare is that I’m sound asleep and my house falls into the creek.”
During the floods, when her street was one of those to be evacuated over fears the Redbank Dam would fail some residents got text messages to leave immediately, but Ms Hayden said she was one of several residents on the street who received no alerts or any notice to evacuate, despite neighbours living opposite receiving the texts.
The floods in March and April, plus the previous ones in 2020 and 2021, have caused damage to Redbank Creek and to a number of properties along its banks. Ms Hayden said for the last 30 years the Creek had been “a crystal clear trickle”.
“That was my park, that’s where the ducks used to come up and play, this was where the water dragons would come and sit on my stairs, it’s where I used to go and sit and birds came and sat in the trees, but no more.
“I had standing stones and a little garden down there and it’s all gone. My veggie patch is wrecked and yes, I just feel numb. I’ve lived here for 31 years, and it’s the worst I’ve ever seen it,” she says.
“There was erosion this year, and last year, and in 2020. In 2020 two trees fell over and upended the retaining wall and the insurance company came in and put a new retaining wall in. The council didn’t want to know about it, they sent an engineer out who said, oh just plant some trees. In what, I asked. Last year I lost lost about 8 to 10 feet, this year I’ve lost much more.” floods
“There was erosion this year, and last year, and in 2020. In 2020 two trees fell over and upended the retaining wall and the insurance company came in and put a new retaining wall in. The council didn’t want to know about it, they sent an engineer out who said, oh just plant some trees. In what, I asked. Last year I lost about 8 to 10 feet, this year I’ve lost much more.”