FLOOD WARNING SYSTEM
Downstream from Peets Bridge
|Contained in this
document is information about:
(Last updated April 2014)
The Mulgrave and Russell Rivers have a quite well recorded flood history with documented evidence of flooding beginning in the late 1930's. Records at the key reference gauge at Gordonvale show that the largest flood occurred in early 1967.
The Bureau of Meteorology and Cairns Regional Council operate a flood warning system for the Mulgrave and Russell River catchments based on a rainfall and river height observations network shown on the map. In consultation with the Council, the Bureau issues flood warnings whenever the Mulgrave River at Gordonvale is expected to exceed the minor flood level of 12 metres. The objective is to provide between 3 to 9 hours warning of flood heights exceeding this level. These warnings are generally updated every three hours.
The Cairns and Tablelands Regional Councils may be able to provide further information on flooding in the area of the Mulgrave and Russell River catchment.
The Bureau of Meteorology issues Flood Warnings and River Height Bulletins for both the Mulgrave and Russell River catchments regularly during floods. They are sent to radio stations for broadcast, and to local Councils, emergency services and a large number of other agencies involved in managing flood response activities.Flood Warnings and River Height Bulletins are available via :
|Main Directory||Phone||1900 955 360|
|Flood Warnings||Phone||1300 659 219|
Telephone Weather Services Call Charges:
1900 numbers: 77c per minute incl. GST; 1300 numbers: Low call cost - around 27.5c incl. GST.
(More from international, satellite, mobile or public phones)
Flood Warnings and River Height Bulletins contain observed river heights for a selection of the river height monitoring locations. The time at which the river reading has been taken is given together with its tendency (e.g. rising, falling, steady or at its peak). The Flood Warnings may also contain predictions in the form of minor, moderate or major flooding for a period in the future. River Height Bulletins also give the height above or below the road bridge or causeway for each river station located near a road crossing.
One of the simplest ways of understanding what the actual or predicted river height means is to compare the height given in the Warning or Bulletin with the height of previous floods at that location.
The table below summarises the flood history of the Mulgrave and Russell River catchments - it contains the flood gauge heights of the more significant recent floods.
|River height station||Bucklands||The Boulders||Clyde Road||The Fisheries||Peets Bridge||Gordonvale|
All heights are in metres on flood
[*] These heights are taken manually and from flood marks and may not relate to flood levels from existing gauges sites.
Historical flood heights for all
river stations in the Mulgrave and Russell Floodwarning network, as
the map, are available from the Bureau of Meteorology upon request.
MULGRAVE AND RUSSELL RIVER CATCHMENT - ASSESSMENT OF THE FLOOD POTENTIAL
Major flooding requires a large scale rainfall situation over the Mulgrave and Russell River catchment. The following can be used as a rough guide to the likelihood of flooding in the catchment, but refer to the Flood Warnings for predictions during a flood event.
Average catchment rainfalls of in excess of 200mm in 24 hours may cause minor to moderate flooding and traffic disabilities to develop, particularly in the lower reaches downstream of Gordonvale extending to the Mulgrave River delta area.
Average catchment rainfalls of in excess of 300mm in 24 hours may cause significant moderate to major flooding and traffic disabilities to develop. As floodwaters travel downstream to the lower Mulgrave River delta which includes the floodplains encompassed by the four creeks; Middle, Simmonds, Mackey and Wrights Creeks increases occur constantly until the river drains at the outlet.
At each flood warning river height station, the severity of flooding is described as minor, moderate or major according to the effects caused in the local area or in nearby downstream areas. Terms used in Flood Warnings are based on the following definitions.
|Minor Flooding :
Causes inconvenience. Low-lying areas next to watercourses are
inundated. Minor roads may be closed and low-level bridges submerged.
In urban areas inundation may affect some backyards and buildings below
the floor level as well as bicycle and pedestrian paths. In rural areas
removal of stock and equipment may be required.
Moderate Flooding :In addition to the above, the area of inundation is more substantial. Main traffic routes may be affected. Some buidlings may be affected above the floor level. Evacuation of flood affected areas may be required. In rural areas removal of stock is required.
Major Flooding :In addition to the above, extensive rural areas and/or urban areas are inundated. Many buildings may be affected above the floor level. Properties and towns are likely to be isolated and major rail and traffic routes closed. Evacuation of flood affected areas may be required. Utility services may be impacted.
Each river height station has a pre-determined flood classification which details heights on gauges at which minor, moderate and major flooding commences. Other flood heights may also be defined which indicate at what height the local road crossing or town becomes affected by floodwaters.
The table below shows the flood classifications for
selected river height stations in the Mulgrave and Russell River
River Height Station
First Report Height
Minor Flood Level
Crops & Grazing
Moderate Flood Level
Towns and Houses
Major Flood Level
|Clyde Road||-||0.00 (B)||0.4||-||1.0||-||2.0|
|The Fisheries||-||1.85 (B)||2.5||-||5.0||-||7.0|
|Peets Bridge||-||5.00 (B)||5.0||-||7.0||-||8.0|
The above details are correct at the time of preparing this document. Up-to-date flood classifications and other details for all flood warning stations in the network are at:
For the latest rainfall and river height conditions please use the following link:
For the latest rainfall and river height network map please use the following link:Network maps
further information, contact:
The Regional Hydrology Manager, Bureau of Meteorology, GPO Box 413, Brisbane Q 4001