The Challenge

Oakey experienced its highest flood on record in January 2011. About 130 homes and 10 businesses were flooded and 80 residents evacuated. In January 2013, another significant rainfall event occurred however this time the town was not flooded. On both occasions, a common comment from residents and emergency services was that more accurate and timely information was required to make informed decisions.

Approach and Outcomes

A network of water level gauges upstream of the township was already under development. However, in conjunction with Council officers, WMS recognised the need for both additional warning time and a fail-safe for the electronic system. WMS worked with Don Carroll and Worley Parsons (the authors of waterRIDE) to develop a flood forecasting system component capable of receiving and modelling forecast gridded rainfall (PME & ADFD) and real-time gauge data and executing URBS simulations within the waterRIDE interface. WMS also assisted with the establishment of a network of Flood Wardens (volunteers) living upstream of the township who verify electronic observations during an event. Flood maps and flood intelligence cards were also prepared to complete the fail-safe/non-electronic component.
See: High-tech early warning flood system for Oakey
Paper presented at 2015 FMA Conference