Works to improve the culverts that take Woodlands Creek under the railway line at Thirroul are a long way off, judging by Wollongong City Council's timetable.
More than 12 years after the first flood study on their area, residents must now wait again while flood mitigation works are balanced against other priorities across Wollongong city.
The Hewitts Creek catchment flood study is still in draft form and may be accepted by councillors in February.
After that it will be a lengthy process to develop a plan for action.
The council's manager of infrastructure strategy and planning, Mike Dowd, said it was too early to decide which flood mitigation options were viable and which should be prioritised.
"Council is in the process of investigating improvement options in the Woodlands Creek catchment," he said.
"We have also initiated conversations with the various state government agencies who own key parts of this catchment, and whose co-operation is required for any work to proceed.
"Until our investigations are complete, council cannot determine which options are viable and will be most effective, and prioritise these against other flood-mitigation works across the Wollongong local government area."
Mr Dowd said it took time to work through the thousands of properties affected by flooding.
"Throughout the LGA there are approximately 13,000 flood-affected properties," he said.
"Council is systematically investigating the catchments in our council area to determine how we can reduce flood risks for our residents.
"These strategies include a combination of planning controls and physical works. We are currently delivering the works recommended in the flood risk management plans along with other drainage projects with a current capital expenditure of $2,450,000.
"Council recommends that residents shop around for the best deal for insurance and, in particular, flood insurance."