The 9 December floods

johnboy 10 December 2010 156

[First filed: Dec 9, 2010 @ 8:31]

riverside plaza [The back of Riverside Plaza this morning]

The NSW SES is very worried that the Captains Flat Dam is going to fail amid concerns about flooding in Queanbeyan.

The dam failure warning system for Captains Flat Dam earlier this morning triggered a red alert. This has been downgraded and it is now issued as an Amber Alert. The dam is not expected to fail at this level but if the water keeps rising, a Red Alert could be triggered and major flooding of Captains Flat could result.

UPDATE: In the ACT the ESA is also expressing concern about Oaks Estate.

If you have pictures, as always, send them in to images@the-riotact.com .

FURTHER UPDATE: Pretty soon it won’t matter how many spillways they open at Scrivener Dam:

Scrivener

UPDATE 3: Dave has sent in pictures from Captains Flat with this note:

the crimes are in captains flat ATM “recreating” an event that happened earlier today. Where a local man caught a large yellowbelly on the bowling green. I was there when it happened and wondered if you would like (to publish) the actual pictures? also have some of the river and water over the dam wall.

Pictures in the slideshow.

UPDATE 4: ACTPol_Traffic on Twitter is reporting Scrivener Dam has now been closed to traffic.

UPDATE 5: The National Capital Authority is giving notice that they’re considering opening the 5th gate of Scrivener this afternoon for the first time since 1976. They ask the public to stay away.

UPDATE 6: And the first joke has arrived, see below the fold!

UPDATE 7: Queanbeyan and Palerang have now been declared natural disaster areas.

UPDATE 8: The RSPCA is appealing for donations to help displaced Queanbeyan pet owners.

UPDATE 9: ACTEW are justifying why water from their Googong dam is raging through Queanbeyan.

UPDATE 10: TAMS have produced a very handy road closure guide.

UPDATE 11: Over 100 pictures in the slideshow! Keep them coming to images@the-riotact.com

UPDATE 12: Queanbeyan now trending number 4 on Twitter nationally.

UPDATE 13: TAMS have a new road closures list out.

UPDATE 14: Queanbeyan City Council’s website makes no mention at all of the town split asunder by floodwaters. (as at 16:30, 9 December 2010)

(Slideshow below, thanks to Ricky, Trina, Aussielyn, Peter, Kirrily, Amelia, Alexander, Snarky, UrbanAdventure, Davecpd, Dave, motleychick, ozchick, jake, James, Che and Hank)

Joke sent in by OzChick:

PLEASE DIG DEEP PEOPLE

Torrential rain hit Queanbeyan in the early hours of Wednesday 8th December 2010.

Victims were seen wandering around aimlessly, flannies soaked, woollen trackies sagging, muttering ‘Faaackinell’.

Flood waters devastated the area causing approximately $30 worth of damage, $10 of that at Karabar alone.

Three areas of historic burnt out cars were disturbed. Many locals were woken well before their Centrelink cheques arrived.

The Queanbeyan Age reported that hundreds of residents were confused and bewildered and were still trying to come to terms with the fact that something interesting had happened in Queanbeyan .

One resident – Tracy Maree Sharon Britney Madonna Smith, a 15-year-old Mother of 5 said ‘It was such a shock, my little daughter Chardonnay-Mercedes came running in to my bedroom crying. My youngest two
Joachim and River slept through it all.’

Apparently, looting, muggings and car crime were unaffected and carried on as normal with a 95.7 % saturation rate .

The Australian Red Cross has so far managed to ship 4,000 crates of Bacardi-Breezers to the area to help the stricken locals particularly those at Jerrabomberra also known as Lower Tralee or East Machonachie.

Rescue workers are still searching through the rubble and have found large quantities of personal belongings, including Health Care Cards, Jewellery from Kmart and Bone China from Big W.

HOW CAN YOU HELP?

This appeal is to raise money for food and clothing parcels for those unfortunate enough to be caught up in this disaster.

Clothing is most sought after – items most needed include: flannelette Shirts, tight blue jeans or spandex, singlets (blue & white) white sport socks, Ugg boots and any other items usually sold in Priceline or The Reject Shop.

Food parcels may be harder to come by, but are needed all the same.

Required foodstuffs urgently needed include: Microwave meals, Baked Beans, Ice cream, Chips, Fizzy drinks.

Donations of $15.00 will be taken to buy a packet of winny blue


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156 Responses to The 9 December floods
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Antagonist Antagonist 12:21 pm 11 Dec 10

The a priori probability of AA winning 10 games in a row is indeed only 12.5% … It is, after all, much easier to win 10 games in a row starting from a position of having already won 9 in a row!

And therein lies the analogy. I publicly concede defeat on the dodgy maths behind it though. Until I read this response, I actually thought ‘a priori’ was something from a Dan Brown novel. Be proud that you taught a bogan something new.

For the Two-up players, any decision to bet would be based on mathematical expectation (which has nothing to do with results). Since the game of Two-Up itself has a mathematical expectation of precisely zero, I leave it for the chumps to enjoy on ANZAC Day.

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 3:23 pm 10 Dec 10

Here’s a couple of videos from yesterday afternoon’s entertainment at Scrivener Dam…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnrGEAcKjjo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HiI8FsGfuYE

OzChick OzChick 1:46 pm 10 Dec 10

Target Queabeyan has re-opened for business today. http://www.target.com.au/enewsletters/101210/101210-Queanbeyan.htm

Maybe that means other Riverside Plaza retailers are also re-opening.

caf caf 1:42 pm 10 Dec 10

Antagonist, you are wrong. The chance of AA winning in Game 1 is 81.21%; the chance of it winning in Game 2 is 81.21%; the chance of it winning in Game 10 is 81.21%. Each game is an independent event. The cards have no memory of the previous hands.

The a priori probability of AA winning 10 games in a row is indeed only 12.5% – but after it has won 9 games in a row, the probability of winning the tenth is still 81.21%.

It is, after all, much easier to win 10 games in a row starting from a position of having already won 9 in a row!

Mothy Mothy 1:42 pm 10 Dec 10

Antagonist said :

It is in the math. I will use an example from Texas Holdem Poker to illustrate ….

Therefore, if you have gone 9 years without flood on a 10 year cycle, then you ARE Mathematically more likely to have a flood on the 10th year.

To play with your analogy – you assume that the deck does not get shuffled after every hand, and this is what’s driving those arguing against you crazy.

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 12:45 pm 10 Dec 10

The NCA are quoted in today’s paper as having to shell out $25,000 per day to have the LBG flood gates open. So does anyone understand why this would be?

androo androo 12:42 pm 10 Dec 10

carnardly said :

I saw a chap interviewed on the late news last night. Obviously he was a used car dealer that got flooded out. He was whinging and moaning that someone should have rung him before it happened so he had a chance to move some of the cars…

and if nothing else, if the only major dam between you and a significant rainfall event is already overflowing, you’re going to get very wet. Do they really need someone to hold their hand and explain it to them in simple language?

bjnetzone bjnetzone 11:26 am 10 Dec 10

I saw a chap interviewed on the late news last night. Obviously he was a used car dealer that got flooded out. He was whinging and moaning that someone should have rung him before it happened so he had a chance to move some of the cars…

Mate – the coppers or whoever are trying to maintain law and order. The flood warnings were all over the news in the 24 hours beforehand. Why should someone else have to tell you? There were hundreds of other houses under threat too.

Couldn’t believe it!

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? “Someone should have called me before bushfires went raging through and burnt my house down, even though I could see and smell smoke two weeks beforehand, and it was all over the tele, I still had no idea it was coming because I’ve had my head up my ar*e for too long”…

Happy to tolerate the stupid Queanbehole jokes today – actually more happy that we didn’t have to pull bodies out of the Molonglo. Well done Q!

Acronym Acronym 11:13 am 10 Dec 10

Sorry, as troll-sniffer said, not djk.

Acronym Acronym 11:10 am 10 Dec 10

Antogonist, yes the 50% comment is bs, but so is your maths. It’s ok, it’s the most common mistake people make. Probability doesn’t remember what happened previously. Think of the coin toss. Its a 50% chance to land heads. If it landed tails in your last toss, it doesn’t make it more likely to land heads the next time, its still a 50% chance. It will average out over the long term, but you can still land 5 tails in a row without it influencing the next toss. Your maths just says from the starting point of when you calculate, there is a probability of 87.45% of a flood having occured in those 10 years. Not a chance of 87.45% in that particular year. Probability doesn’t work like that.

But as djk said, the appropriate prediction model should take into account more than just length of time since a flood. Weather is a little bit more complicated than texas hold em.

chewy14 chewy14 11:10 am 10 Dec 10

Antagonist,
you’re joking right?

Do you go to Two Up on Anzac Day and wait for the spinner to land 9 heads in a row and then say “It has to be tails this time”?

carnardly carnardly 11:03 am 10 Dec 10

I saw a chap interviewed on the late news last night. Obviously he was a used car dealer that got flooded out. He was whinging and moaning that someone should have rung him before it happened so he had a chance to move some of the cars…

Mate – the coppers or whoever are trying to maintain law and order. The flood warnings were all over the news in the 24 hours beforehand. Why should someone else have to tell you? There were hundreds of other houses under threat too.

Couldn’t believe it!

Brucer Brucer 11:02 am 10 Dec 10

androo said :

I strongly suspect that Lady Denman Drive’s closure had little to do with ‘fun police’ or spray, and much more to do with the amount of debris heading towards the dam. Being free of traffic would allow grab-excavators or whatever to operate on the roadway if needed to remove trees/logs/junk from against the buttresses as needed and trucks to take that debris away.

For a ‘one in 30yr event’ I figure people might walk from the roadblock to the dam? Or do significant events require a McDonalds ‘drive through’ mentality? Just sayin’.

That’s actually pretty reasonable. I hadn’t considered that. Still, I thought the “spray” explanation was lame and I suspect made-up. As for walking, I believe the NCA website stated that bike paths and pedestrian access were also being closed. I just hate the way that so-called “rubber-necking” meets with such predictable derision when a) it is pretty natural for people to be curious or interested, and b) in many cases is totally harmless.

troll-sniffer troll-sniffer 10:58 am 10 Dec 10

All of you statisticians are wrong. The chance of a 20 year flood happening each year is exactly 50% – either it happens or it doesn’t.

The math provided in my example clearly shows your assertion is BS.

djk’s assertion is correct in a completely blank world, however the weather does not conform to pure stastistical modelling, and therefore all the classic models based on mathematical theories are irrelevant in this context.

The cjhances of a one in twenty year flood are based largely on the pattern of ocean currents around the continent which in turn are based on several thousands of variables, from cloud cover to sun strength to recent volcanics etc.

Quite simply, the probability of a one in twenty year flood is greatest when an La Nina event is coincident with the right Indian Ocean and Southern Ocean currents bringing warmer waters closer to the continent, together with the time of year and the position and severity of the atmospheric patterns around the world…

These events do seem to come together at 20-30 year intervals so the probability of a one in twenty year flood will get greater the closer you get to twenty years since the last one… AS LONG AS the patterns in the southern oceans remain consistent.

So, djk is technically right but actually wrong, and those who quote the various stastistical models alone to back up their positions are also wrong.

Antagonist Antagonist 10:16 am 10 Dec 10

All of you statisticians are wrong. The chance of a 20 year flood happening each year is exactly 50% – either it happens or it doesn’t.

The math provided in my example clearly shows your assertion is BS.

facet facet 10:11 am 10 Dec 10

m_ratt says:

“I would have expectd this modelling to take a Poisson Distribution”

sounds a bit fishy to me but given we are talking about a flood maybe it’s appropriate.

djk djk 10:04 am 10 Dec 10

All of you statisticians are wrong. The chance of a 20 year flood happening each year is exactly 50% – either it happens or it doesn’t.

EvanJames EvanJames 9:55 am 10 Dec 10

Once again, the road into Queanbeyan from the Bungendore side was a car park, stretching back kilometres. Most of the traffic wants to turn right at the Red Rooster and head into Canberra, but they can’t get on to the roundabout, because traffic is queued around it. As the traffic from the Queanbeyan main street stretches back and back, past the fast food outlets and onto that roundabout, everything coming in from the east (thousands of cars a day) grinds to a halt.

This happened last Friday, when the Morrisett St low level bridge flooded. It happened again yesterday, and their eventual response was to close the road from Queanbeyan to Bungendore. It happened again this morning and I’m sure the traffic is still stretched back on the Kings Highway.

They could open up Thurallilly St, that opening near the old Rainbow Motel, to bleed off some of the traffic, but they don’t. They could put a cop on the roundabout, to stop people queuing around it, but they don’t.

Skidbladnir Skidbladnir 9:41 am 10 Dec 10
georgesgenitals georgesgenitals 9:14 am 10 Dec 10

Skidbladnir said :

Georgesgenitals:
Care to clarify? Duffy-Holder-Chapman-Kambah were never really “where can we store our poor” areas, and the strength of the 2003 fire event wasn’t anywhere near as predictable as Queanbeyan-Palerang filling their 20yr flood plains.
Check the local history, flooding has occurred like clockwork every second decade except for the 1990s, going back as far as the records.
(and don’t block quote just to add a paragraph, its an eyesore and adds nothing)

There’s been plenty of time when Duffy, Holder and Kambah have been considered lower socio-economic areas, just not recently.

Consider too that there have been significant fires in the past (and these have been significantly exacerbated by the presence of pine plantations). Having major pine plantations close to suburban homes (and upwind), and doing this within the last 50 years, seems a lot crazier to me than building homes (some over 100 years ago) in an area where the high flood levels are actually pretty well known.

How many houses in Queanbeyan actually got flooded? Most of what was under water was parks, pathways, road and carparks. Also the caravan park, where vans were able to be moved when the waters rose. I’d be interested to see just much residential property damage actually occurred. I don’t think it will be much at all.

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