The 2013 Warwick floods.
The 2013 Warwick floods. Contributed

Southern Downs flood warning system upgraded

THE Southern Downs Regional Council has recently completed a project to upgrade the flood warning system for the Southern Downs.

In November 2016, Council was successful in obtaining a 60% subsidy through the Queensland Government's Natural Disaster Resilience Program to increase the community's preparedness against flooding.

The following works have been carried out during the program:

  • Installation of a new rainfall and river height gauge at Emu Creek;
  • Installation of a new rainfall gauge in the Connolly Dam catchment area;
  • Installation of a new rainfall gauge in the Storm King Dam catchment area; and
  • Upgrades to six existing river height gauges in Killarney, Murray's Bridge, Warwick, Connolly Dam, Storm King Dam and Granite Street Stanthorpe.

Council worked closely with the Bureau of Meteorology to source and install the specialised equipment to ensure that the data collected by these units would feed into the national weather monitoring and natural disaster warning systems.

Locally, it is anticipated that this project will reduce the community's vulnerability by increasing the warning times for residents in flood-prone areas.

The upgrade to the flood mitigation gauge system is a joint initiative of the Australian Government, Southern Downs Regional Council and the Queensland Government.

Chair of the Local Disaster Management Group mayor Tracy Dobie said that the delivery of the flood mitigation gauge system was an important investment in the delivery of natural disaster infrastructure in the region.

"The new and upgraded gauges will increase the warning times for residents in these flood-prone communities," she said.

"Improvements to the rain and flood gauge network will also assist council to better predict and manage road closures. 

"But ultimately, the safety of our residents is the most important issue.

"The improved lead time will help minimise the damage caused by the floods and crucially, will reduce the risks to our residents' lives in those affected townships and surrounding areas."


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