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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).





Publisher name

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 76 of 139. I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I 25 WAruiIN(i AND . EMERGENCY RE$PONSE -Cos e paspnnsiD" 1e 0- ~"ood war~lng l"n "lice ~Dr'ngs :--e ---' ~- -, - L.l.. __ _~._ l.l"".. ~ ....... _..l.. l..O' ....... ~~o maj:r problems: li~ited time and limited coverage. The ~~in ga~ge at Wigley Gc~ge on the Todd River provides abcut :~e hour's accurate war~ing of flooding in the city. 2~veral additional hours general warning may be received ~=om the Bond Springs rainfall gauge. There is also a gauge :.:-. 'the Charles River ~ ::owever, the city may also be ~undated by local runc~~ or storm-water drain su~charge for ~~ich t~ere is no warni~g. In this respect the system is ~jpical of those in Aus:ralian urban areas, where seri0us ~:ooding may occur with:ut activa~ion of the warning system. :~us, t~e situation a=ises when gauges are no~ recording ~:ow in the river, but =oads are blocked and d~ains ~~erflc~ing within Alice Springs. The subtleties separati~g ~=ainage!local runoff f~onl riverine flooding are easily ~os~ C~ those being flooded. Ignoring drainage problems may also ~aduce :he credib~lity )f the warning system and related F~blic i~formation. The very limited ~inle available makes effective ~~rnings difficult, and demands that all parts of the system :'.:nctic-n TJl/el.l. The warning syste~ is illustrated in Figure 3.3. Its caSle features are set ~)ur. in &'1nex A to Chapt~:=r 10 of the ?~gional Counter Disas[sr Plan (Region 5). 3ssentially ~':'ood detection is in t':":e hands of PAWA, with serne essistance f~om the Bureau of Meteorology. When a flood ::.?pears likely f?A1'lA infc-r-ms the police who in turn are :esponsible for alerting the Territory Emergency Services Ct!.'ES}. The disaster p~an is then activated by the police ac:d the Counte~ Disaste:- Committee meets to c:)ot"dinate response and implement sub-plans for welfare etc. As far as f~oods are concerned the media a~e not part of the plan. Warnings are conveyed tJ the public by doorknocking. Flood detection T':":e Alice Springs flood detection system has been c:--.aracterised by equipi.l,ent failure~ Entries in the PAr.1A l:g-book highlight the lew reliability of the gauging equipmer:t r power-supplies and communications, and of sa.telite ohotos and tl,e airoort :-adar. In December 1987 all . . t~e gaugi~g equipment f~iled. Failure has occurred in s~ttware and all hardwa~e components. It is worth xentioning that failures cannot be ascribed to long periods c~ equipment inactivity. Although flow in the Todd River is u~usual, the system has been activated because of heavy rain '..I._ numerous occasions G\~ez:- the last several years. Equipment performance was bette~ during the Easter 1?88 flood, but this event showed the limitations of the

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