Thursday, 13 January 2011

relying on short memories

Found this in the paper this morning.
A SECRET report by scientific and engineering experts warned of significantly greater risks of vast destruction from Brisbane River flooding - and raised grave concerns with the Queensland government and the city's council a decade ago.

But the recommendations in the report for radical changes in planning strategy, emergency plans and transparency about the true flood levels for Brisbane were rejected and the report was covered up.

The comprehensive 1999 Brisbane River Flood Study made alarming findings about predicted devastation to tens of thousands of flood-prone properties, which were given the green light for residential development since the 1974 flood. The engineers and hydrologists involved in the study warned that the next major flood in Brisbane would be between 1m and 2m higher than anticipated by the Brisbane town plan.

but as a QUT Professor said on the ABC this morning, property values in flooded areas will plummet in the next year or so. However as time goes by people will forget the grief and losses and go in and pick up "a bargain".


well I guess I should just join in with the rest of the hive and go on about how its the worst I've ever seen and how noone could have predicted this. Who needs planning and who ever learns from the past anyway?

I think we may have got off lightly in some ways. I read this comment on a blog today:

"As mentioned earlier the proposed Wivenhoe Dam is a multi-purpose water supply-flood mitigation project, and the Bureau has provided extreme precipitation estimates and other data to assist in its design" (BOM Report 1974 p15).

Also, "four floods well in excess of the 1974 levels have occurred in the past 133 years" (p14).

"Meteorological studies suggest that rainfalls well in excess of those recorded in the floods of 1893 and 1974 are possible"(15).

It's also possible we could get multiple floods as on p13 the 1974 BOM Report says "[t]hree floods occurred during February 1893.

During the first (peak 9.51 m) the ship Elamang and the gunboat Paluma were carried into and left aground in the Brisbane Botanical Gardens, and the ship Natone was stranded on the Eagle Farm flats. The Indooroopilly railway bridge and the north end of the old Victoria Bridge were washed away.

Nine days later a second minor flood was experienced which attained a height of only 3.29 m.

However, a week after that there was another major flood (peak 9.24 m) which carried the stranded Elamang, Paluma and Natone back into the Brisbane River!

with all the discussion of how climate change is causing "wild weather" we have not seen anything likethat.

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