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).





Publisher name

Power and Water Authority

Place of publication

Alice Springs


Report ; 53/1989

File type


Copyright owner

Check within Publication or with content Publisher.

Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

Technical Report WRA89053 Viewed at 03:02:00 on 18/02/2010 Page 10 of 139. I I I I I I I I I I I I II I 1 I I I I. 5 the limits of the Todd flood-water. It should be noced cha~ these The ~looding was extensive but the depths of inundation were relatively restricted, the maximum ove~floo~ depths were rarely more than one metre. The topography of the site however, is such that a small increase in flc~d levels would greatly increase the number of properties effected. Questions of safety for hotels and motels, retirement homes .. the hospital and the Aboriginal comm:..:ni;:y are of particular concern. Of the households with overfloor flooding, 60 pe~ cen~ reported stress induced emotional or health pt'oblems as a result of the flood. The individuals involved range i~ age from children and young adults to the elderly_ In some instances there were direct links to physical health, ~g heart conditions and asthma. In others the flood expe~ience resulted in stress during periods of heavy rain. These results are less severe than those reported in a study of the 1986 Sydney floods. The Aboriginal community Direct damage to property ma:-caged by Aboriginal organisations within Alice Springs is estimated at 568,000. This includes damage from flood waters other than the Todd River. In addition, abou~ 75 river bed campers lost all their possessions, and many people had to seek alternative accommodation. nO'.vever, the grea~est losses in the Aboriginal community '''ere the intangibles of death, racial tensior" and s.tr!'!ss and potential health effects. Three Aborigines drowned in the Todd. Racial tension may have increased for ~wo reasons: a perception in some quarters that the emergency procedures were 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 approp~iate policy exists at the Territory level, there is effectively no flood related zoning in Alice Springs. This absence has contributed to a steady increase in potential flood losses. The debate over the recreation/flood mitigation dam has been divisive, between Aborigines and non-Aborigines and within the non-Aboriginal comrnunity. The issue is simply raised here as it is not within our brief.