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 78 of 139. I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I :27 existing system. Early on in the Elood there ~e=e ~"""'m""""'lnl'cat;on prob;"'IDs "'l'th ~h'" ~e" gaune ",I- f,_j~,-,.-l""'T' <""'-or~~ "- ........ ll~H...... ~.l. __ 1.,.. I- ___ ,~ } ""::J nL~ n~'":::,-,-c.!' \:; ';:"=' and ~ith Bond Springs. Also, telephone line c~~ges=ion ~~ Alice Springs threatened to haloper emergency ~e~ated ccmmunicat ions. The scheduled !:'epiacernent ~.,;i::h an H~;;LER:u type system should substantially reduce this proble~. The major limitation concerns system coverage, As pointed out above this is by no ~eans a problem =es::riccej to Alice Springs. Thus, there ~as extensive sha~lo~ flooding in A:ice Springs from local runoff by ~am, 31 Ma~ch 1988 , ~.,rhich ;..~as also causing flco;..~ in the Todd. 3ut as t~.-2re ,,-las no signif:"cant flow at ~~l.igley Gorge PA~-vlJ.A ""las :10:: .in 2. position to predict major flooding. It was 7.54am before the police were advised that evacuations were 'tq~ite likelyu. Decision making The av-ailable flood ~.,rar!1ing tixe in 4~lice Spri:"'.gs is particularly short, so it is very important that tine is ~o~ lost in deciding what action is appropriate. Wa~ni~~ systems contain many decision points: activation c~ the flood detection equipment and procedures; PAWA's des~siQ:~ t!) alert the police that a flood is like1y; the police notifying the Emergency Service; calling the Counte~ Disaster Committee togetheri issuing public t..;arnings; evacuating people; deciding prio=ities for resource allocation and so on. It is also important that the var~ous groups involved are clear about their roles. Ccmme~~s w~:l be limited to four points. The first point is Lhat at present PAI"lA notify only one organisation, the police, of the flood potential. T~is is a potential weak link in the system, which could resulc in avoidable delays; for example, the police could be fully occupied with another emergency. In most Australian flood warning systems the flood detection body alerts several different organisations of the possibility of floodi~gi these would normally include the police, emergency services, local government and broadcast media. The second point concerns the apparent need tc physically call the Counter Disaster Committee toget~er. The Committee members were contacted by the police "t 8ar. 31 l1arch and actually met at about 9am, by which time L::e C:'od was approaching its peak. l~ost members of the Committee interviewed felc that the meeting should have been called much earlier, perhaps the night before when flooding firs~ looked a possibility, so that the various sub-plans could have been put into action. This would also have avoided ehe situation where some members of the Committee had trouble getting to the meeting because of police road blocks and flooded roads. It is worth noting that activation of the