brisbane: the last on the flood

Yes, it appears that many of Brisbane's ferry terminals are gone …


… but the boats themselves were saved.  Buses are replacing ferries, we're told, though buses can't do much without bridges.

Floods this major don't often happen in developed-world cities.  If you're interested in the recriminations phase, Kerwin Datu has a good overview in the Global Urbanist.

Photo: Robert Shakespeare, Brisbane Times


One Response to brisbane: the last on the flood

  1. Jonathan Vogt January 28, 2011 at 7:32 am #

    I read Kerwin Datu’s overview and, as I understand it, he made three important errors:
    1) the flooding was not ‘predictable.’ Whereas the 1974 floods were estimated to be the result of 1,500GL of rainfall, the 2011 floods are estimated to be the result of 2,500GL! That is unprecedented.
    2) Wivenhoe Dam, as a matter of policy (and apparently QLD law), always conducts water releases whenever the dam exceeds 100% drinking water capacity. They did not hold onto the water until it was too late but were releasing water on a daily basis. However, despite these ongoing releases, Wivenhoe went from 102% to 189% in the space of eight days – such was the speed of developments.
    3) Brisbane City Council maintains a 1-in-100 year flood map and does not allow development within that map. Of course, that map has clearly been shown to be wrong, given the sheer magnitude of recent events and will thus need revising. However, the charge that Council has been lax, with regard to development in flood-prone areas, is false.
    This is a case of a well prepared region falling victim to an amazing weather event that is without precedent. Lessons how how to deal with a repeat or possibly a bigger event will be learned, but this was not an avoidable disaster which we can blame on ill-preparedness.