Monday, 11 October 2010

read the signs

I was reading the paper this morning online and found this wonderful picture of a car caught in the flooding in SE Qld

Notice the sign saying road subject to flooding? I'm willing to bet that the driver did but thought I'll give it a go ... how bad can it be?

But if you're out driving at the moment and come across a flooded road keep this in mind. You can walk where you can't drive and if it looks too dangerous to walk it then it won't be safe to drive either.

While most of the media is using words like wild weather, we've had worse and we'll get worse again.

While it is true that this has been a big rainfall for October its not yet a record (but its shaping up well).

Perhaps noone living here now was here during the floods of 74. Hardly surprising when you look at the growth trends of the region: netween the late 80's and now the population has grown from 250 thousand to nearly 500 thousand. This does not give you any indication of the number of longer term residents who have moved away.

With so many people being here for less than 10 years how can they have a clue what sort of climate we have. Particularly when the last 10 years has been quite dry, there is a lot to be said for local knowledge.

Planners could do with a bit of that too it seems.

So like the ad campaign on the Radio says ... read the signs and don't cross flooded waters in your car.

It might be nice if our Government read some other signs too ... such as those of the effects of such rapid and significant development of this area and the effects on the community as well as the environment.


Noons said...

One of the things I learned recently is how much a built-up area contributes to water runoff.

Whereas before water had a chance to go underground, our modern "concrete slab" construction virtually ensures water can't go anywhere else but donwhill. When the storm water drains fill to capacity, that means down the road...

I'm glad we picked a reasonably high spot for our house in Durack, otherwise it might have been flooded this time around!

obakesan said...

indeed the increasing effects of impervious surface is a big issue. Not least of which is the increasing pressure on the drainage system.

There is a lot of research to suggest how beneficial water tanks on all buildings are in acting to retain and delay some of this runoff. Tanks are good not just as water storage but in managing peak flood events.

The message is slowly getting to councils but its distressing (and costly) that we've had them removed and need to be replaced. Its also more difficult given a long trend of designing for not having a tank and where to retro fit them.

Sometimes the mechanism of government seems to be quite blind to the obvious. (not to mention motivated by the political not the practical)

Noons said...

One of the many fights I had with our builder here in Warriewood was precisely the water tanks.

Council mandated their installation, 7.5KL of them, but it didn't *specifically* mandate any connections to them!

So what does the builder do? Put them underground, with no pipes connecting to/from them, of course!

You can't imagine how far I had to go to get them to install adequate piping so that:

1- water from the downpipes would end up in them, with an overflow to the sewer system.

2- a pump was installed so we could then connect the tanks to the reticulation system in the garden.

Something anyone in their right mind would have thought a given, was a major mental and legal exercise with the building code, fair trading and a NSW builder.

One wonders...