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Flood Warning and Damages in Alice Springs: Part 1 Executive Summary. Part 2 Tangible Damages Part 3 Intangible Damages & Emergency Procedures



Flood Warning and Damages in Alice Springs: Part 1 Executive Summary. Part 2 Tangible Damages Part 3 Intangible Damages & Emergency Procedures


Handmer, John; Smith, D. I.; Greenaway, Mark


E-Publications; E-Books; PublicationNT; Report ; 53/1989




Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).





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Power and Water Authority

Place of publication

Alice Springs


Report ; 53/1989

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Check within Publication or with content Publisher.

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Technical Report WRA89053 Viewed at 03:02:00 on 18/02/2010 Page 17 of 139. I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I 1 Introduction Following the flooding of Alice Springs on March 30, 1988, r~Q r~~~~r nl'-ec~ora-e of t~e Nor-he~n ~~r~~trlr'l n~~Tpr anri ~"~_ ~ . ~-~- ..- - '- '- ~. 1 ___ .. ;. __ .~ ~t:;;:+_~..!. ___ L-_.),,~ 1,->. ~'Jote1:: Authoritv {PAVIA} commissioned the Centre for Resource "'-.r' c~-'/'-~nmental Stud;ps (CR~S) or '''", "'straL' ian Na-l'o-.~l -~~ ....... "", ..l ... V.l L ...... _.c.. ' ... ~ t_, .. ___ r".u, _ _ L I.... .I. .......... U~ive=sity to undertake a study. The study had three main a~m.s; Ii) to assess the "actual damage" caused in Alice Springs by the flood of March 1988; ( i i ) :0 examine the reaction the Emergency Services preflocd b=ochure; (iii) co assess ehe effectiveness and perceptions of the warni~g system and associated Eme~gency Service operatiorls. Phe brief also limited the research to the lJrban area of Alice Springs. This part of the report deals with tangible damages. The flood 9roducing rains were brought by a tropical depression which travelled from the Pilbara region of Western Australia across the continent to southeast Queensland. Rainfall in central Acstralia commofLly results f!':om easterly moving depressions, hOt-lever on this occasion the rainfall was exceptionally heavy_ It is estimated that ie re~eased nearly 80 per cent of central Australia's annDaL average rainfall in the 48 hour period, March 30-31. Some 200mm Gf rain fell in Alice Springs and parts of t.he Todd River catchment. The Todd River peaked at 11.30am on Harch 31, at a gauge height of 3.98 metres. The flow was 11~0 cumecs, with an es::imated annual exceedence probabilit'y of~ 1 in 50 (1:50). River flooding was much less extensive than indicated on the pre-existing flood map, and was approximately equal to the flooded area shown for the 1 in 20 event. Heavy rain in the city caused widespread flooding from direct local runoff and drain overflow in addition to river flooding. Flood water entered some houses and businesses, but road transport both within and outside Alice Springs was severely disrupt-ed. Aboriginal campers in the Todd River and adjacent areas were badly effected. No official warnings of the flood were issued to the public by the broadcast media. App r::; a ell Infor~ation for the study came from documentary sources and from interviews. The material was collected during two visits to Alice Springs, May 30 - June 7 and Augusc 11-18.