The call to fix Testers Hollow has been renewed after the road was flooded on Wednesday for the second time in nine months.
More than 150mm fell in the area in the 72 hours up to 9am Wednesday as water submerged Main Road at Testers Hollow and forced its closure.
Cliftleigh resident Sonia Warby has lived in the area for 37 years and, during the 16-day closure of Testers Hollow after the April super storm, started a petition to have the road raised.
Petitions were distributed in Heddon Greta, Gillieston Heights and Cliftleigh.
However as the water subsided, so did the number of people signing the petitions.
But the recent flooding has brought the issue back to the forefront of people’s minds.
Ms Warby said the Facebook page Raise Testers Hollow received almost 400 new likes in two days and the online petition gained another 150 signatures.
But while the paper petition has been signed by more than 4000 people, it needs to have 10,000 signatures to be tabled in Parliament.
Ms Warby said there were several reason that the road should be raised, including safety, as people continued to drive through floodwater before barriers were put in place.
The road’s closure prevents access to schools, including those in Gillieston Heights and Maitland, as well as places of employment and vital services such as Maitland Hospital.
She said the closure puts more traffic into other areas such as Farley and Buchanan where the roads aren not in good condition, and means a longer trip and more fuel for motorists.
“School buses, do you really want them going through Buchanan?” she asked. “It all leads back to safety.”
Ms Warby believed it was only going to get worse as housing estates continued to expand and more people moved into the area.
“A few years ago there was quarter the population that there is now,” she said.
“The environment around here has changed so much that it [water] can come up quicker than it used to.”
After the rain stops the smell then arrives - Ms Warby said she has to keep her house and car windows up for up to weeks after flooding events.
“There are just so many different things you need to look at,” she said.
She said she was frustrated that money had been spent on chartered helicopters when Gillieston Heights was isolated in April, repairing Main Road after the water subsided and on other projects, instead of to raising Testers Hollow.
“You see the funding elsewhere,” she said. “Each time I think, is that a quarter of [the cost of] a bridge? Is that half of a bridge?”
But Ms Warby hoped that with persistence and enough people complaining something would be done to fix the problem.
“I don’t think they’ll ever raise it, but it might push them to put in an alternative road,” she said.
“People need to write to the RMS, [Cessnock MP] Clayton Barr and [Maitland MP] Jenny Aitchinson, annoy them as much as possible.”
Petitions are in the process of being placed in various locations again. Keep an eye on the Raise Testers Hollow Facebook and sign the online petition.