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
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Power and Water Authority
Report ; 53/1989
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Technical Report WRA89053 Viewed at 03:02:00 on 18/02/2010 Page 7 of 139. ? Approach I~~ormation for che study caxe from docume~tary sources and from intervlews. The ~ate~ial was col:ected duri~q :wo ~isits to Alice Springs, ~ay 3C - June 7 and AugusE 11-18. Documentary sources included repcrts on the flocd, material on file in a number of organisations and ne"spapers. Interviews were ad~iniste~ed in four distinc~ grcu~s: a questionnaire survey of a sample of flooded households (28), flooded businesses (25), and flooded government nganisations (8); interv:'.e"s "it'"! officials and organisations involved in the flood forecasting, war~ing and ~mergency ::-esponse system (7); interviews wi t.h merr.bers of the broadcast media (4); and interviews wit'1 merr~ers of c~e Aboriginal community, and "ith organisations dealing witt~ l'.boriginal concerns. Damages were assessed for the residencial sector using the ANUFLOOD procedure, while est:'.mates for other sectors came directly from interviews. Flooding in Alice Springs Alice Springs is a rapidly growing city of some 24,000 people, 10 per cent of whom are Aborigines. It is located in central Australia, where it is the only sizeable settlement. By any standards it is a remote place being about l,500kms from any major urban area. It is t'1e administrative, service ~nd tourist centre for a vast a~ea. The city straddles the Todd River, wh:ch rises on rocky degraded country some 5 hours river travel time north of Alice and vanishes in the desert sands southeast 0: the city. A relatively minor tributary, the Charles ~iver, joins the Todd in the nort'"!ern part of the city. The river beds are sandy, lightly timbered and dry, except during floods, and are used as camping areas by Aborigines. Four creeks (drains) feed into the river as it passes through t.he built-up area.' Over one third of the built up area including the central business district (CeD) would be inundated by an extreme flood exceeding the magnitude of the 1:100 event. A 1:20 Todd River event would flood only a few properties to overfloor level. :-Io'"lever, it is importar.t :'0 note that significant areas are also flooded by urban drainage surcharge. Flood water in the river channel is fast flowing but the water is fairly shallow in the urban area. The flooding is generally of short duration, 12 to 18 hours with peaks being reached ~ithi~ about 4 hours of flow commencement in Alice Springs. Multiple Deak floods are ,"- "'_--4 I I I I I I I I I I I I .1' I I I I I I I