WHILE almost all road and drainage repairs have been completed, more than 50 people still remain displaced after an unprecedented storm tore through the western part of Hepburn Shire in January.
The worst-hit Creswick residents are facing housing complications as insurance companies lag in processing repair claims.
"It's been more than five months since the storm, and we recognise the incredible difficulty faced by many whose lives have been severely impacted by this event - our hearts go out to them," said Hepburn Shire mayor, Tim Drylie.
"Our Storm Recovery Team is continuing to work with the community, connecting people with services such as financial counselling, health and other support, and working one-on-one with residents."
Council has invested more than $3.5M in the storm clean up, with an ongoing focus on clearing drains and repairing roads.
However, Mr Drylie said the clean up isn't straight forward.
"For all road and drainage repair we need to provide proof that the damage is from the storm
rather than general wear and tear. This allows us to claim back part of the cost of repair from the
Commonwealth and State Governments," said Mr Drylie.
"We've repaired nearly all of the storm-damaged Council roads, prioritising the most urgent and badly damaged areas," he said.
"Over the next few weeks, we will focus on roads in Dean and Springmount, and then onto Clunes.
"We will complete drain clearing and repairs in the next few weeks."
Stage one of Hepburn council's three part storm-recovery plan will soon be completed, and stages two and three will focus on flood mitigation.
Council's 2022/23 draft budget includes a program specifically related to the stormwater network in Creswick.
"We have included a number of localised drainage projects in our draft budget, which were identified through consultation with residents," Mr Drylie said
"A full flood study will provide more comprehensive and data-driven improvements to the drainage network, but we will need funding from the Victorian Government for a project of that scale.
"We know there are still many people impacted by the ongoing effects of the storm. If you are looking for additional support or information we encourage you to call our Storm Recovery Team on (03) 4373 7373."
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