Territory Stories

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 82 of 139. I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I 31 RESULTS :-Zote chat reccommendat ions are concained in ?arc. 1. Damages The Alice Springs flood of Easter ~988 resulted in substantial tangible and intangible damages. Tangible losses are covered in Part 2.. The non-Abor ig i.nal ar.d ;~original losses are reported separately. Over 200 dwellings and some 35 co~~ercial enterprlses experienced overfloor flooding or severe damage fro~ overground i~undation. In addition, many roads and Qthe~ i~frastructure were damaged. The naximurn over floor iept~5 ";ere rarely more than one met:re. The topography of =he s:t:e however, is such that a small increase in flood leve2.s ' .. ls'...:ld greatly increase the number of properties effected. Questions of safety for hotels and motels, retireme~t hoces, ~he hospi~al and the Aboriginal ccmmunity are of particu~ar concern .. Of the households with overfloor flooding, 60 per =ent reported stress induced emotional or health problems as _ result of the flood. The individuals involved range in aqe from children and young adults to the elderly. In some instances there were direct links to physical health, eg heart conditions and asthma. In others the flooa experi2~ce resulted in stress during periods of heavy rain. The bulk of the intangible losses were borne by the Aboriginal community, which suffered deaths, racial sens:Jn, and stress and potential health effects. Three p~ori'-Jines drowned in th Todd. Racial tension may have increased for two reasons: a oerception in some auarters that the .. . emergency procedures '..;ere racist in that the Aboriginal community received a lower level of service; and comments by some politicians suggesting that the flood would have been controlled by a dam if it had not been for Aboriginal opposition. Floodplain management Although an appropriate policy exists at the Territory level, there is effectively no flood related zoning 1n Allce Springs. In the past this absence has contributed to a t d . . 1-.=.r:."; 1 .;: i . I s ea y lncrease 1n po~_.x.a ___ 000 osses. The debate over the flood mitigation dam has been divisi~2, between Aborigines and non-Aborigines and within the nonAboriginal community. The issue is simply raised here as :t is not within our brief.