Toowoomba flash flood shambles

What is wrong with our “warning systems” in this country when low lying roads in the major regional city of Toowoomba were not closed before this flooding struck?

Rainfall is no secret – it falls on a network of recording stations connected by telemetry to the BoM – the BoM report a network of updated rain data on their website;

Rain also falls mostly at night so considering SE Qld has been flood affected for weeks – you might expect that early every morning some “emergency services HQ” might review the nights rain and discuss flood models with the appropriate experts. Then as rain falls through the day – flash flooding potential should leap out at anybody reviewing the models.

It is not rocket science – a quota of rain falls in a catchment – a hydrological model will tell you how and when that water gets to a certain river. With the constant experience of the last few weeks you might expect predictions of river flows to be honed to a new accuracy.

I am amazed these scenes of cars and people being washed down Toowoomba streets are coming from a modern nation. I think the “authorities” have lost the plot
bigtime.

41 thoughts on “Toowoomba flash flood shambles”

  1. and a previous comment on 6/1
    jennifermarohasy.com/blog/2011/01/more-photographs-of-the-flooded-fitzroy-for-val/#comments
    Hi Vince Good luck to your feet; I felt the frightening power of water this morning in Toowoomba where I live. Toowoomba had a torrential downpour lasting about 45 minutes, no news on the amount of rain yet but I would put it at about 50 mls or 1.5 inches in the old scale. I was out in my little Ford Fiesta and shortly after the downpour started I was crossing the Warrego Highway (cnr Kitchener Street for anyone who knows T’wmba); There was water flooding across the Highway and I felt the car start to drift) luckily I and cars behind me got through; a four wheel would have had no probs but for peasants like me if we’d had to wait any longer for the lights to turn we might have had probs; I’ve heard that cars parked in the street outside the Court House were flooded; the Court House is on a slope and that would have been water flooding down Hume Street from Herries Street; I’ve heard one major shopping centre has been flooded; probably Centrepoint; and that drains in the town centre overflowed; the Range Highway is closed; for the latest see www.thechronicle.com.au/story/2011/01/06/torrential-downpour-city-toowoomba/
    So floods affect Toowoomba! Luckily for Toowoomba-ites it drains quickly. Pity the flood victims with rising river levels outside their doors or lapping at their floors or already innundating their homes and pity too all the affected animals.
    After that experience I googled ‘power of water’ and came up with this scary natural video (4 mins)
    www.metacafe.com/watch/3060459/power_of_water_scary_natural_video/

  2. Um, I can’t help but ask this question. When a town is constructed on a floodplain, why are people so surprised when it floods?

  3. It may not be possible to predict sudden heavy rainfall in a short time. However, there are records available for maximum hourly and daily rainfall for the South East corner of Queensland. For example Indigo Jones (of long term weather forcasting fame) measured 35.7 inches (907mm) of rain at his observatory near Maleny Qld on 2nd February 1893 (see espace.library.uq.edu.au/eserv/UQ:207605/s18378366_1935_2_6_288.pdf) and 77ins (1.956m) over four days. Engineers can and should be allowed to design storm water systems to cope with one in 100 yr hourly, daily and weekly rainfalls in populated areas where loss of life can occur (eg town centres) and one in 50 yrs in other areas of danger.
    I have said, previously, only registered Professional Engineers should be involved in analysing rainfall and river flows for forecasting, predicting runoff, and issuing warnings because they are the only ones who understand statistics and have an understanding of fluid dynamics with the mathematical ability to design and assess structures. Further, only professional engineers, which every city and shire council have, should have the final sign-off on any storm water and flood mitigation development.
    There should be no need for a Premier or Prime Minister to front the media to say they are sorry. Being sorry helps no one and does not overcome plain incompetence of government officials.
    There is a need for a Royal Commission with powers to jail for perjury and negligence the pseudo-scientists advising the government on climate (this should particularly apply to the upper management levels of BOM, CSIRO, and the Office of ChieF Scientist)

  4. cematifriend, thanks for those comments from someone who is affected; however, I’ve heard no one say that they are sorry
    But on the other hand I haven’t heard the BOM say they warned the Govt; they’ve simply said ‘no one could predict a super storm’

  5. I don’t think you need better background for understanding the Toowoomba situation,Warwick. The town sits in a shallow dish of about 40km2 at the head of Gowrie Creek.Most of this area is urbanised,the balance golf courses,sports fields and corridor open space lining the two short headstreams of the creek,which converge at the northern end of the CBD and head NW out onto the Downs. It is a perfect catchment with a lot of hard surfaces directing stormwater into the shallow grass then concrete lined streams/drains.

    They got a very,very intense downpour with rainfall rates exceeding 60mm/hr over obviously a large part of this 40km2.And it was not just a cloudburst;it kept up for an hour at high intensity. 65mm in little over an hour at the Toowoomba Airport gauge about 4km west of the middle of town,after a damp but innocuous start to the day. The previous day was also a very wet one ,but without huge rain rates.

    Who knows the intensities that fell within a few kilometres? Reports will trickle in from backyard gauges. To quote the Toowoomba Chronicle,a private rain gauge at Rangeville on the eastern edge of the city recorded 115mm in two hours. A resident of Darling Heights,about 5km WSW of Rangeville,recorded 103mm during the storm. Runoff from these suburbs converges on the CBD down their respective branches of Gowrie Creek..

    Each branch of Gowrie Creek is only a few kilometres long and more often than not are dry.I doubt whether there is any automatic gauging on these tiny streams. They were obviously flowing,within the drain capacities before the downpour,but it would have taken only ten or fifteen minutes for this flash flood to gather and funnel into town. I doubt whether council had any modelling for events like this: if they had been precedented,the design of the drains would have reflected this. No one could model a flood peak and duration arriving from some distance up a stream;that does not apply here.This was the roads gutters and roofs of the town shedding the water from an enormous intense local downpour into short drains.

    The day ended up the second wettest January day since records began in 1869.It was an unprecedented urban flash flood,in a perfect situation to deliver a huge flow very rapidly.

  6. That’s really useful,WSH. The offending storm starts innocuously over the Sunshine Coast,then really bulks up over the upper Brisbane catchment and is over Toowoomba and the escarpment in another hour and a half. The intense stuff dropped between about 1310 and 1355 EST at the airport gauge.

    How much useful warning could have been given? The forward trajectory of the storm could not be predicted with absolute confidence. If the super heavy cell had tracked 5 or 10 km west,the outcome would have been very different,the rain falling over farmland draining west with relatively less property damage,and the flash flooding below the Toowoomba Range in the heads of Lockyer and Flagstone Creeks,and the tragic destruction in Withcott and Grantham may not have occurred,at least from this cell.

    Telemetry in the upper Brisbane could send data to Toowoomba Council once rain rate thresholds were exceeded,to disseminate a warning for possible flash flooding via radio/SMS/email.How many stations would be needed to trigger the process? This storm may have only tracked over a few with the requisite capabilities. I still don’t think there would be enough time for much of a response in this tight time frame,without at least a finer grid of stations.

    The radar rainfall intensity is in the moderate to moderately heavy range,but we know that the result was extreme. A lack of adequate resolution? Partly caused by intervening rainfall?

  7. Thanks for commenting Kandler – you say “I doubt whether council had any modelling for events like this: if they had been precedented,the design of the drains would have reflected this.”
    Marc Hendrickx over at ABC News Watch has searched old newspaper archives and found references to 19C Toowoomba floods. Well worth a read. So I think – like most natural phenomena – the floods of Monday were not so unique – and a prudent council would have been better prepared. I am sure the flood that harmed people in Withcott, Helidon, Grantham and points downstream also originated in creeks to the north eg, Rocky Ck, Six Mile Ck and Murphys Ck – a lot of data to unravel.
    I wonder how much money councils spent promoting the treating of wastewater for their residents to drink – aided by the desal industry. Just check out their websites for the evidence. I see the Toowoomba Water websites are down as of late Wednesday.
    I expect there will be in inquiry into the disaster – on experience of such happenings you would not expect too much out of it – the establishment will use our taxes to be represented by squadrons of barristers to protect their collective backsides.
    Just one quick point re the Toowoomba flash flood in general – I wonder why the names of the 67 or so missing is kept secret ? Any ideas ? Is it justified ? The authorities and pollies love secrecy – love control. Surely a public list could result in some people being quickly located and the list shortened. I would have thought public interest and efficiency outweighed any claims of privacy in such a public matter.

  8. Warwick I don’t know why names are being kept secret but I suspect the majority of deaths has occurred in the Lockyer Valley; I know the BOM has said that the deluge from the super storm which hit Tamworth could not be foreseen and that was the reason for no warning in T’wmba but even if this is right why was there not time to warn the people of the Lockyer Valley; the flood waters in the Lockyer Valley so far as I know came from the T’wmba runoff but I may be wrong and I’m happy to be corrected; that link I gave above referred to people in the Lockyer looking up and seeing a wall of water coming towards them

  9. I too live in Toowoomba and after visiting a business opposite Rowe’s furniture store(the one featured in the TV news) and getting out of there at 11:00 AM on Monday, went home. I had checked the BoM radar before leaving and at the time most of the rain seemed to have moved south of the Warrego highway. It took less than an hour to regenerate north of the highway and as I got home the rain was starting. I seriously doubt any useful warning could have been given other than that, if there are storms, beware of flash flooding in Toowoomba. A long storm cell went through Toowoomba the long way with very high rainfall rates.

    As someone else pointed out Toowoomba is set up for flash flooding. However the damage was limited to around a 100-200 meters either side of East and West creek and the flood was over very quickly. We have power, water and communications, the sewerage system is working. Lots of people are in really bad situations right now. We’re not.

    And for the person who says its dumb to build on a flood plain. Toowoomba isn’t on one.

  10. Val,the super storm straddled the Great Divide,and may have been most intense just to its east,which is why Murphys,Six Mile,Rocky and Gatton Creek devastated their short valleys.

    Take a look at the aerial shots by Bev Lacey in the gallery “Grantham: flood aftermath” in the Toowoomba Chronicle. Photo 3 is of the concrete pile slab bridge over the Lockyer at Flagstone Creek Road downstream of Helidon. The bridge is standing,but was overtopped and has had its abutments and approaches scoured and destabilised. All the trees on the lower banks have been entirely removed and taken downstream,and the channel has been dramatically enlarged. Compare it with the Google Maps image. Grantham,6 km further down, didn’t stand a chance. The 4m wall of water filled the entire width between Lockyer Creek and the railway line,a distance of at least 750 metres.

    Photo 18 shows a roadblock on the Warrego Highway at the junction with Postmans Ridge Road. Gatton Creek can be seen at the top of the photo. Again,it is completely scoured out and enlarged and the bridge rails stripped. The catchment area here is about 65km2,collecting everything from the escarpment between Rangeville and Blue Mountain Heights. Imagine 60 mm/hr on that.

    I’m told that some of the stream gauges in the area were destroyed. The Helidon No.3 station record ends at 2PM on the day.

    Back in Toowoomba, according to the local paper,the flood detention basins incorporated into open space along East and West Gowrie Creeks were overwhelmed/already full,due no doubt to the steady 80+mm of the previous 24 hours.

    There will be an inquiry. There will be engineering responses,as in bigger/deeper/more detention basins and levees,and a rethink of the undergrounding of the creeks at their confluence and beyond under what appears [Google Earth] to be railway yards filling the stream bed.

    However,some of the footage showed considerable overland flow on side streets,not all from main creek spill,so the tributary stormwater design is under question.

  11. Mike I entirely agree with what you say about T’wmba still having all its essential services – I wasn’t grumbling about that – I feel for all the affected people but the people in the Lockyer Valley flooded areas had very little chance and any warning at all would have been helpful and may have saved lives.
    As Warwick says I wouldn’t expect much out of any enquiry but Kandler’s (thanks Kandler) informed comments about engineering responses make me hope that some practical measures can be taken so flooding can never again happen with the same devestation as has occurred in the Lockyer Valley
    AND I think this article makes sense www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/flood-insurance-must-be-accessible-to-all/story-e6frg6zo-1225986572360
    I know some insurers now include flood insurance automatically with home replacement and contents insurance (NRMA & SUNCORP for example) but I’ve heard of at least one business in Tamworth and there are possibly others who have no flood insurance (covering stock and machinery) and it would make sense to have this included in all business policies as a matter of course

  12. sorry for hogging the discussion but couldn’t resist this comment picked up from the letters in the Australian today
    n the wake of this disaster, your prized NBN roll-out now stands for something else — Not Bloody Now.
    I totally agree!

  13. Warwick, I don’t know if you are aware of this website which is topical.
    He claims that the Beattie and Bligh Governments were conned by the Climate Changers into panicking over the so called Climate Change induced “drought” in SE Queensland and its effects on the water supply. This resulted in the failed Traveston Dam project, the recycled water plant and the now mothballed and rusting billion dollar desalination plant at Tugun.
    His analysis show that it is these “uncommon events”, which appear on average about every 4 years – but sometimes longer and more severe, which are mainly responsible for filling the dams and NOT the seasonal summer rains!
    Another Climate Change Panic bought to you by the CSIRO and BOM!

  14. I see the Brisbane flood levels are lower than forecast by BOM – down from 5.5m to 4.6m. This is lower than the 1974 flood level of 5.4m. This has a lot to do with the Wivenhoe Dam completed in 1985. Its flood capacity is 1.5 giga litres which as Hodgkinson points out means a reduction of about 20% in the flows!
    Also, according to BOM, the cause of the flooding in 1974 was different. This time there was no flash flooding, no localised flood events in Brisbane’s creeks and no heavy local rain. The flooding was mainly due to heavy rain in the Brisbane River Catchment. This makes the Wivenhoe Dam much more significant in the reduction in the flood level.
    Incidently, the Wivenhoe Dam, built by that dam National Party Government of Bjelke-Petersen, would probably not be built now because of the danger to the lung fish!

  15. WSH,yes that archival stuff via Marc Hendrickx does tend to contradict my speculations about lack of precedent in the town,but I think what has unfolded in the heads of Lockyer Creek has not been seen there for generations if at all. Mind you,the population density of the valleys is probably at a high.

    There was a storm and flash flood of similar intensity at Cooyar in early 1988. Falls were suggested to approaching a 1:500 year return.

  16. I live 30 km north east of Toowoomba (43km by road). Accurate telemetry may have given some help but malfunctioning of equipment here would have significantly understated rainfall intensities. I live approximately 120 metres from a telemetry station that recorded 135 mm for the 24 hours to January 11 whereas I measured 223.4 mm (the previous day we recorded 162 mm compared to 147mm by the automatic station). Approximately 110 mm was recorded in one hour where the automatic station recorded less than half this.

    Notwithstanding, I doubt that an adequate warning 30 minutes ahead could have been received by and acted upon by a significant number of people in the most vulnerable areas.

  17. Kandler check out NLA Newspaper Archive. Search on “Lockyer creek flood” returns quite a few reports. I’m not sure how they compare to the recent floods but there are numerous mentions. See for instance:
    “Rise in the lockyer creek” from 1906
    trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/19439739
    “17ft above ordinary level”
    and
    “Lockyer Creek flooded” 1908
    trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/19532405
    “The Lockyer rose 34 and half feet in 4 and a half hours”
    and
    “Car Washed away” 1929
    trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/21376341
    “The creek at the spot is known to be dangerous in heavy rain, owing to the fact that it
    gives no warning, but simply comes down like a wall. ”
    1931
    trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/21666921
    “The Lockyer Creek is in flood, having risen 30ft. since this morning, and it is still
    rising rapidly.”
    and
    “Campers Trapped” 1938
    trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/41840200
    “Five adults and a girl aged four narrowly escaped drowning when their camp on Lockyer Creek was invaded by flood waters early this morning. Their tent, six stretchers, blankets and other belongings were lost and a motor car was carried 400 yards.”

  18. Check out the Toowoomba Chronicle and Tiddalac’s video footage of the Murphy’s Creek flood. The stream is completely enlarged with massive bed rock and tree removal. This is at the very top end of flash floods.

    MarcH,I’m not suggesting that flash flooding per se is unprecedented in Toowoomba and the heads of the Lockyer catchment,I’m suggesting the size of these flash floods has not been seen for a very long time and may be the largest ever,and reading through those fascinating links does not undermine my view. Remember,we have reports of 60mm/hr from Toowoomba airport[123mm for the day] and 115mm in two hours from the escarpment right above the head of Gatton Creek,which flows through Withcott. And Bev Laceys photo of that creek just a few kilometres further down. And Tiddalac’s footage…

    In your Trove links,there are two incidents specific to the upper Lockyer above/near Helidon. The first is the 14/2/1929 incident where a stalled car was washed away at Withcott. It was actually fording Gatton Creek below a bridge under construction,so the event,while typically quick,need not have been of the great depth seen on 10/1/2010. This matches up with a fall of 66.3mm at Toowoomba,and 42.7mm at Helidon for that day.

    Surrounding the incident are reports from the Darling Downs,SE Queensland and E NSW of similar thunderstorm events occurring at the time with most totals reported in the 25-50mm range and a few to 100mm[400 points]. There is a report of a one metre high flash flood from a cloudburst at Duri,near Tamworth amongst them.

    The second incident, on 1/2/1938,which I am assuming is from an event close to Toowoomba, is the camping family and car swept away by a early morning torrent in the Lockyer Ck. This would have been linked to the 24hr fall recorded at Toowoomba for 31/1 1938 of 97.8mm,with 65.5mm at Helidon. This sounds bigger than the first event.

    Neither of these incidents is linked to further reports of extensive damage to infrastructure and houses in Toowoomba or in the Lockyer,which would be very newsworthy indeed..and which characterise this weeks floods.

    On the same page as this incident is a report from Walcha NSW of a fall of ‘6″ to 7″ in fifteen minutes (!) This is reported to have flooded Walcha’s main street five to six feet deep ‘flooding the business section and causing extensive damage.’ Records for the time show a fall of 45mm at the P.O for 1/2/1938.

    The other links describe considerable rises in Lockyer and Laidley Creeks,but they are not as fast as this recent event,nor as damaging,as well as the Brisbane Valley floods of 1931 and associated falls in the district.The totals are not as extreme as this present flood,and the river did not rise as high . Helidon recorded 185mm over the 72 hours from 4/2/1931,a large amount but not intense. The reports mention Grantham being flooded in the main street,the evacuation of the P.O, and the flood there being the highest since 1893,but not the destruction of half the town as we have seen. This means the water came up more slowly.

    These old events are not as severe as the November 2008 floods in the Laidley and Lockyer,in which 24hr totals were much higher,and the most extreme events with 1:100/500 ARI falls were in the Bremer catchment.

  19. A few additions, first the BoM rain data from their Flood Information page from 5pm on afternoon of the floods.
    Link to ABC TV 7.30 Report titled “Lockyer Valley tragedy” 7.30 Report | Thu, 13 Jan 2011 22:19:00
    the full video should appear here next week – late in the video is this scene showing what I hope is not the creek outside the house. If that is the creek – the council has some planning issues there.
    The video is online now at this page titled “Lockyer Valley tragedy” – easy to find – look for the picture of young woman (at 7.30 Report link) calmly recounting her harrowing experiences.

  20. Does Austalia still do cloud seeding? If so, could that be the cause of the flooding? Who does it, and when/where was the last time they did it?

  21. There were cloud seeding experiments from aircraft here post WWII which ran on a few decades but got caught in turf wars between BoM and CSIRO – then the rise of Green dogmas did not help. I think CS mostly died out over 20 years ago. Tasmania has used CS in recent times I understand and also Snowy Hydro got approval to do some ground based small area experiments in the Alps. But no, nothing going on that could explain the Qld floods.

  22. Good article in the Australia today www.theaustralian.com.au/news/features/toowoomba-was-a-disaster-waiting-to-happen/story-e6frg6z6-1225988980919 explaining the major reason why flooding occured in the main street. Recall that Toowoomba is at an elevation of 700m. With properly designed drainage, flood relief ponds and vegetated parks to absorb/slow down water flows this disaster should never have happened. Some people in Toowoomba should be prosecuted for breaches of the Professional Engineers Act. The articles mentions Tim Flannery. He is on some committee advising the Queensland Government about lack of rainfall the need for desalation plants etc. He should also be prosecuted for being incompetent as well as not be a registered engineer.

  23. Act of god my ass, toowoomba gettin hit hard with water, my explanation which isnt gospel is that a landslide ocured blocking the waterway plus all the trees and debri that would of washed of the hills (that we wernt allowed to burn off because of the greenies), continued to build up into a natural dam: obviously the dam burst from continual pressure build up of water theres ur flash flood, if precipatation were to fall from the sky that much like some people believe it would. It would be a continous tap flow over km squared, climate change my ass.This may also explain why the radar (which isnt always accurate and correct) only showed up medium/heavy rainfall through the colour coding system.And yes the range (mountain peeks, valleys and rock faces) would of certainly created and updraft. but yer have a peacefull sleep those who lost their lives throughout the south east region

  24. www.insurancecouncil.com.au/Portals/24/For%20Consumers/Risk%20&%20Disaster/QLD%20FLOODS/ToowoombaWRM-1102018(Final)CSJ.pdf
    FACTORS AFFECTING FLOODING IN TOOWOOMBA ON 10 JANUARY 2011
    this is on page 41
    The following factors affected and exacerbated the nature of flooding in Toowoomba on 10 January 2011:
     The intense rainfalls that occurred over Gowrie Creek catchment. At six of the nine rainfall stations for which data were available, the ARI of 30-mimute to 3-hour falls were greater than 100-Years, at one other station, the ARI was greater than 50-Years.
     Given the saturated antecedent catchment conditions, the extreme rainfall intensities and the relatively steep nature of the catchments and waterways draining Toowoomba, the time of concentration of East and West Creeks is estimated to be some 1-1.5 hours for the Monday afternoon storm. This corresponds closely to the 1.5-2 hour period of ‘heavy rainfalls’, ie the storm was of critical duration to maximize catchment runoff.
     Almost the entire catchments of East and West Creeks are urbanized, contributing to the fast, immediate conversion of rainfall to surface runoff.
     Antecedent rainfalls had ‘primed’ the catchment for runoff; catchment soils were saturated. Some 80mm of rain fell in the 24-hour period immediately preceding the flood-producing storm (to 0900 on 10 January). Catchment response to the flood-producing storm would have been immediate, with surface runoff generated as soon as rain fell.
     The most intense band of rainfall was centred over the middle and upper reaches of Gowrie Creek catchment, ensuring a rapid rise in water levels along East and West Creeks and in the CBD.
     The steep and relatively narrow nature of the waterways (bedslopes of 0.5-2 percent), coupled with the intense rainfall, resulted in high velocity, deep and extremely hazardous floodwaters surging down the creek systems.
     Almost all bridges and waterway crossings along East and West Creeks were overtopped during the flood event. These structures will have impeded waterflow and raised upstream flood levels. This effect was compounded by the large volume of material swept into the creeks, such as motor vehicles, logs, walls, roofs and other elements of buildings, etc, much of which was caught in the openings of bridges and waterway crossings, further impeding flows and raising upstream flood levels. Other man-made structures situated along the banks of the waterways and flooded buildings and urban infrastructure will also have impeded flood flows and raised water levels.
     The detention basins built along West Creek were overwhelmed; all were overtopped but none breached. It is expected that the capacities of these basins are too small to have exerted any meaningful mitigating effect on waterflows passing through them

    Toowoomba-ites will be interested

    toowoomba.finda.com.au/features/2011/02/10/flood-report-does-not-exist-council/
    TOOWOOMBA Regional Council has denied the existence of a report that only days after the tragic January 10 flash floods reportedly slammed the design of the city’s creek systems.

    An inside source told The Chronicle a leading hydrologist from the Department of Environment and Resource Management visited Toowoomba on January 12 two days after an inland tsunami claimed the lives of two city residents.

    The hydrologist was reported to have found significant design flaws in East Creek had contributed to the catastrophic events of that Monday afternoon in Toowoomba.

    (no mention of the width suitability of the pipes which carry water in the creeks under roads in the urban district)

  25. The Toowoomba and Grantham flood phenomena are known as flooding from Cloudburst in most parts of the world.

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloudburst

    www.hindustantimes.com/photos-news/Photos-India/CloudburstcauseshavocinLeh/Article4-583042.aspx

    We had a cloudburst that claimed the life of a foreign tourist in North Queensland a few years ago, it was described by survivors as a huge noise coming their way then the 5 metre high wall of water appeared and rushed down the mountain.
    These events are rare and catastrophic because as the name suggests they dump a huge mass of water in a short time.

  26. Albert I wouldn’t regard a newspaper headline or Wiki entry as being conclusive proof as to what caused the T’wmba floods
    I mean it might be but I’ve yet to see the proof of it

  27. Val, Wiki just reports the name given to these events, they were known as flooding from a cloudburst for at least 5 decades, probably more.
    They are just massive rainfall from a massive cumulus or storm cloud (CB) and very quickly. The examples given in Wiki describe perfectly the Toowoomba and Grantham events, the shoe fits.
    As for insurance, I expect it would be possible to prove the water came from a Cloudburst, i.e. a massive storm.
    You may need to employ the man who sued God to get a payout.

  28. Albert I’ve heard that the Mayor of Toowoomba has called on insurers who refuse to pay for what they call ‘floods’ to pay because it was a storm
    so ….
    but it seems clear that a design fault in both East and West Creeks trans urban set ups exacerbated events
    so ‘cloudburst’ or what happened when the ‘burst’ bit fell on the ground
    which is the insurable damage
    I don’t know

  29. Albert – I see flash floods arising when sufficient rain falls on a catchment and runs quickly to streams which rise rapidly. So details of catchment geography are vital. People were harmed in the Lockyer Valley when known creeks rose rapidly to their homes.
    You seem to be saying that this “cloudburst” rain can be dangerous in its own right – something I am not across.

  30. here’s an article from the Twba Chronicle today www.thechronicle.com.au/story/2011/02/21/report-slams-design-flaws-insurance-council-austra/
    A REPORT commissioned by the Insurance Council of Australia into the nature and causes of the January floods that tore through Toowoomba has slammed the design of detention basins along the town’s creek system.

    It went on to say that urban overdevelopment certainly exacerbated and increased water levels.

    A panel of three expert independent hydrologists delivered their findings in a report handed to the Insurance Council over the weekend.

    In a blow for insurance companies, that have been heaping further heartache on those affected by refusing insurance payouts over technical jargon contained in policies, the report concluded that the events of January 10 were indeed a storm event and not a flood event.’

    read more at the link and seems clear it’s the report I linked to yesterday

  31. The report concludes:
    (page 4)

    On the basis of the rainfall and water level data presented here, it is concluded that:
     Any inundation of property that occurred at locations remote from the area of waterway inundation was caused by overland flow, as defined in this report.
     Given the high intensity of the rainfall, it is possible that properties inundated by waterway floodwaters may have been first inundated by overland flow. In this regard, the ‘Dent Street’ area is notable, where Toowoomba Regional Council recognizes as a local stormwater drainage problem area.
     The limits of waterway inundation shown on the maps of this report are acknowledged as inexact. Properties around these limits may or may not have been flooded in the first instance, and if flooded, the cause of flooding could be by overland flow, waterway floodwaters or both.
    Factors that affected and exacerbated flooding long East, West and Gowrie Creeks on Monday afternoon include:
     Intense rainfalls of around critical duration for East and West Creeks;
     A ‘wet’ catchment that maximized the volume of surface runoff and resulted in its immediate generation;
     The highly urbanized nature of the catchment also increased the volume and immediacy of surface runoff;
     The steep and narrow nature of East and West Creeks, coupled with rapid and intense surface runoff, generated waterway floods that were sudden, deep, of high velocity and extremely hazardous.
     Waterway obstructions, such as bridges, other waterway crossings and public infrastructure, obstructed waterflows and led to higher flood levels upstream of these impediments. The build up of flood debris in waterway openings of bridges and other waterway crossings further increased upstream flood levels.
    In passing, it is noted that all detention basins along West Creek were overtopped but did not breach. It is not expected that the basins had any significant effect in mitigating waterflows passing through them.

  32. Steve – I do not believe what you say – that “Cloud Seeding had been happening the whole time during the floods all up and down the Queensland Coast.”
    I am happy to listen to evidence – but I do not want misinformation on here. OK
    Thanks, Warwick Hughes Monday 21st 4.10pm

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>