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Flood zone/prone areas in Canberra

By The Axe Man 6 January 2011 27

Hi All,

With the recent goings up north with the flood I got to thinking if Canberra had an flood prone areas.  I had a quick search online and at the ACTPLA website but couldn’t garner much information.

It’s probably not too bad an idea to know if there are any flood prone areas so people can check their insurance if they are covered for it or not. I can’t remember if Canberra has had any serious flooding or not either so I may already know the answer to the question, just thought I’d check

So, does anyone know?

What’s Your opinion?


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Flood zone/prone areas in Canberra
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Innovation 8:00 am 19 Feb 12

SammyLivesHere said :

Chip, liked your explanation… actually when the storm went over the inner south yesterday it was all in play…. the roads were clearing, but the stormwater running between all the houses in my block was not working. Basically as you say, the water was coming down into the pipes too fast and the pipes could not take it – so instead of getting down to the lake under Adelaide Ave it was back-filling into the back garden – with no where for the water from the roof or the ground (I’ve got garden), and it coming back up the drains in the block (about 30 houses) – I was grateful the rain eased – allowing the water downstream to clear… but I wish they would open those Flood Gates at the Dam today, the ground is very wet and the lake is rising making it harder for the storm water drains to empty into the lake. why does it happen that the heavy thunderstorms come on w/ends and after 3pm? mmm

It sounds like you live in that low lying area in Deakin, possibly even where those newer houses were built a few years ago adjoining Adelaide Avenue (off Newdegate St) I think. If so, I can sympathise. I was very surprised and puzzled when they were built as I had always thought that was a floodway there. I have often wondered as I drive or cycle past how the developers managed or redirected the stormwater.

I had assumed also that the recent roadworks to and either side of Adelaide Avenue in that area was to assist stormwater underneath Adelaide Avenue. From what you say it sounds like those works haven’t helped enough if at all.

Danman 9:29 pm 18 Feb 12

A few years ago I was part of a group that was instrumental in bringing the Woden floods of 71 to the attention of Stanhope – with myself and a gentleman from the South Coast (Name intentionally suppressed) efforts being rewarded with a proper memorial….

More info here – here and here

My mother lost a childhood friend in the floods, and that was partially why I was so passionate about a memorial.

There exists a facebook group still, but I am the sole member :/

From what I understand, there was a lot of cement around on what used to be a flood plain, and the drainage was such that the 3ft RCP that went under the intersection of yarra glen and Melrose was inadequate for the flow that day and became blocked with derbis, resulting in vehicles being washed away…As I understand, where the Athlon/Melrose intersection now lies was where some of the victims were found.

SammyLivesHere 8:21 pm 18 Feb 12

Chip said :

There has been a lot of planning go into making Canberra flood resistant but Murphy’s law can be very cunning. Flash flooding in well planned undulating landscapes such as Canberra’s is often due to a very rare coincidence of incidents.

For example, if a storm front moves down a catchment at the same pace as the water moves along then the ability of a long catchment to cope with drainage is greatly reduced. If there are also cars, trees and hail blocking water in large drains then it gets heaps worse. If dam gates remain closed due to malfunction or an emergency downstream then it gets even worse for houses in lower areas in a local catchment that feeds into a lake or dam.

It is not cost effective to be able to cater for incredibly rare bad luck so infrastructure maintenance and vigilance and commonsense by government and residents is essential.

Chip, liked your explanation… actually when the storm went over the inner south yesterday it was all in play…. the roads were clearing, but the stormwater running between all the houses in my block was not working. Basically as you say, the water was coming down into the pipes too fast and the pipes could not take it – so instead of getting down to the lake under Adelaide Ave it was back-filling into the back garden – with no where for the water from the roof or the ground (I’ve got garden), and it coming back up the drains in the block (about 30 houses) – I was grateful the rain eased – allowing the water downstream to clear… but I wish they would open those Flood Gates at the Dam today, the ground is very wet and the lake is rising making it harder for the storm water drains to empty into the lake. why does it happen that the heavy thunderstorms come on w/ends and after 3pm? mmm

SupaSal 4:53 pm 18 Feb 12

My back yard has not resided in months fence has rotted. Grass is thigh high in a few days post mowing

Chip 1:21 pm 18 Feb 12

There has been a lot of planning go into making Canberra flood resistant but Murphy’s law can be very cunning. Flash flooding in well planned undulating landscapes such as Canberra’s is often due to a very rare coincidence of incidents.

For example, if a storm front moves down a catchment at the same pace as the water moves along then the ability of a long catchment to cope with drainage is greatly reduced. If there are also cars, trees and hail blocking water in large drains then it gets heaps worse. If dam gates remain closed due to malfunction or an emergency downstream then it gets even worse for houses in lower areas in a local catchment that feeds into a lake or dam.

It is not cost effective to be able to cater for incredibly rare bad luck so infrastructure maintenance and vigilance and commonsense by government and residents is essential.

taninaus 8:19 am 18 Feb 12

miz said :

The land where Hindmarsh want to build at Woden (and where the police station is, too) was awash in the 1971 flood. They are stark raving bonkers to be wanting to build on that land.

Have a look at Callam offices *(the grey concrete spaceship looking building near the Helenic club) when you are down that way, it was built over the concrete drain and the floor level didn’t start till well above the 100 year flood level for exactly that reason.

the round-about in a more minor form I think was there in the 80’s if I remember correctly from when I rode that way to the lake on the bike paths.

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 6:44 am 18 Feb 12

huh? i have been living in duffy for ten years but dont remeber any flooding?

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