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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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Technical Report WRA89053 Viewed at 03:02:00 on 18/02/2010 Page 80 of 139. I I I I I I I I I I I I II I I I I I I 29 Counter Dlsaster Committee, had difficulty get~ing to their posts because of flooded roads and police ~oad blocks. Some form of identification for essential service personnel is clearly needed, and would be useful in a:l types of disaster and accident situations. It appears that no-one has clear responsibility for warning l'.boriginal campers. This is an 'Jnfortunate omission because tt.ey need the warning most. In the past they have left the danger area well before floodinq but tl""le 1988 flood shows that a warning procedure is needed~ In the event of an extreme flood the warning would be essential to ~educe the li.l<ellhood of heavy loss of life~ I~ ,tlould bes;: be deve loped :.n cooperation with Tangentyere Counc i 1/ C .. ~M-1A Abo::iginal radio and other Aboriginal Or:;anizations. Warning receipt and response Overall, v-larn ing and response was v-r:y much improved over the last major flood < .;hich occurred- in 1983. Never~heless, very few people received an official flocd \.',rarning ~ Host realised that it was flooding when they 3aw water flowing down their streets or found that roads ,.;ere blocked. The warning system was not forecasting riverine flooding at a time when some parts of Alice Springs ~vere under \.'/a.t.er from u.rban drainage surcharge. Flood '",arning system performance may be evaluated in terms of its effect on damages, consumer satisfaction, and breakdowns and inefficiencies within the system. From the interviews there is little ev~dence that the warnings had an impact on damage. This is to be expected as most people did not receive fNarnings. Nevertheless! many interviewees were able to take action to reduce losses as the flood waters rose. However, t:hose ''''ith only overground flooding took little action, but warnings would! hopeflllly, - -,..- -t' I~" ~ 2) .1ffiprOVe LlllS S2 uatlOrl" ,.:)ee _ ar.... . However, the public seem reasonably satisfied with the warning and emergency response system, although some would have liked a warning and more information on urban drainage overflow. In part, this satisfaction is because of low expectations. There is little reliance on official flood warnings, and the provision of warnings in Alice Springs is seen as ."I difficult task. The possibility that reliance cou~a De encouraged by future improvement:s to the system raises a legal issue. Reliance on the system by people known to the warning agency increases the potential legal liability of the agency for warning failure. Of course, it is quite possible that legislative provisions provide immunity from liability.