The community engagement hub of the Upper Lachlan

Council seeking feedback regarding Flood Warning System

November 17, 2021

Upper Lachlan Shire Council has engaged the NSW Government’s Manly Hydraulics Laboratory (MHL) to develop and implement a cost-effective fit for purpose flood warning system for the towns and villages of Collector, Crookwell, Gunning and Taralga.

These systems have been designed to effectively predict and communicate flood risk to the communities, as well as to Council and the NSW SES.

Why do we need a flood warning system?

The villages of Crookwell, Gunning, Collector, and Taralga are located in NSW’s Southern Tablelands, approximately 200 km southwest of Sydney. Flooding in Crookwell, Gunning, Collector, and Taralga catchments is characterised by short lead-times between rain falling and the peak of the flood level. Coupled with the steep rate of rise, this flood behaviour causes logistical difficulties for alerting residents to potential flood risk and subsequent emergency evacuations.

The Total Flood Warning System

In Australia, best practice guidelines for flood warning system design are described in Australian Emergency Manual 21 – Flood Warning (AIDR, 2009). The Total Flood Warning System (TFWS) includes six (6) components with an overarching consultation and review process which should be integrated into all other components.

What a total flood warning system does?

Monitoring and prediction

NSW SES uses extreme weather warnings and Flood Watches from BOM as well as real-time data from the available rain gauge network to determine if there is likely to be flooding. Gunning will also use water level triggers from a new water level gauge.

Interpretation

The NSW SES collects information of rainfall and flood warnings from the BOM and utilise flood intelligence from flood studies and historical observed data to determine the most effective response.

NSW SES applies effective flood interpretation to translate predictions to an understanding of who is at risk from flooding and what the appropriate response should be.

Message Construction

NSW SES in conjunction with Council will develop pre-defined warning messages which are appropriate and useful for those at risk.

Communication

Methods of communications option, such as door knocking, social media alerts, sms messages, siren. The communications will be selected based on the community feedback.

Protective Behaviour

NSW SES provide emergency support. Collaboration between NSW SES and local community action teams to provide evacuation and community alerting.

Review

Minimum 12-monthly social meetings should be organised with the NSW SES, BOM, Council and community to test the system from end-to-end, run mock evacuations, provide information to those living on the floodplain and have agency officials available to answer questions and review the system.

Council, along with MHL, will be providing Information Sessions at Collector, Crookwell, Gunning and Taralga.

In lieu of face to face feedback which has been made more difficult with COVID-related restrictions, Council has provided the detailed videos below and a link to a short survey to capture your feedback

Please find below the full brochure regarding the Flood Warning System, links to the videos for each of the four villages and the link to the related survey.

Last modified: November 17, 2021

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