Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Flooding Blame Misplaced

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Flooding Blame Misplaced

Article excerpt

THE flooding of Brisbane in 1974 saw the creation of the Wivenhoe Dam to minimise the possibility of similar flooding events.

In 2011 the flooding rains did not mirror the 1974 event yet many folk blame the government and whoever is left standing as being negligent over the operation of the water release from Wivenhoe.

To my memory, the 1974 flooding rains covered a large area but the major rain impact fell in the Brisbane River Valley catchment area, overwhelming Somerset Dam.

To minimise similar flooding, the Wivenhoe was built to capture the water and be a second barrier. But the rainfall in 2011 did not impact the Brisbane River catchment as it did in 1974.

Unlike in 1974, I believe that the major impact of rain in 2011 was outside the Brisbane River Valley and centred on Toowoomba and the Gatton catchment region, that had no dams.

Toowoomba is built on an old volcano crater. The flooding water overwhelmed the storm water drainage, causing the roads to be floodways gravitating to the centre of the crater and the city centre - hence that horrific scene we have witnessed.

Gatton is also in a valley basin region with dozens of creeks which overflowed with floodwaters racing towards the centre of the valley, then gushing towards Ipswich. This flooding water I believe was the major cause for the flooding of Ipswich and downstream to Brisbane, while 1974 it was the back-filling of the Brisbane River that flooded Ipswich.

Whether I am right or wrong will be known when the experts write in their reports but for some to continue blaming the Wivenhoe Dam operators as being the villains is not warranted.


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