This brochure describes the flood
warning system operated by the Australian Government, Bureau of
Meteorology for the Proserpine River. It includes reference information
which will be useful for understanding Flood Warnings and River Height
Bulletins issued by the Bureau's Flood Warning Centre during periods of
high rainfall and flooding.
The Proserpine River has a total catchment area of approximately 470 square kilometres. Originally levee banks were constructed by landholders along the river to protect valuable cane lands, but subsequent overtopping and breaching of the levees in major flood events led to the planning and construction of a flood mitigation dam on the river.
Peter Faust Dam is an earth and rockfill embankment 50 metres high, located on the Proserpine River about 27 kilometres upstream of Proserpine. The Dam, was commissioned in the early 1990s, and commands approximately 75% of the catchment area and operates as a flood mitigation dam. It has significantly reduced the frequency and severity of floods in the Proserpine River.
The figure below shows the annual peak heights which have occurred at the tailwater gauge of the Peter Faust Dam since records began in 1956. The highest recorded flood of 11.16 metres was the result of Cyclone Ada which occurred in January 1970.
The Bureau of Meteorology operates a flood warning system for the Proserpine River catchment based on a rainfall and river height observations network shown on the map. The network consists of a number of volunteer rainfall and river height observers who forward observations by telephone when the initial flood height has been exceeded at their station, as well as automatic telephone telemetry stations at the Peter Faust Dam and Proserpine, which are operated by the Department of Natural Resources and Mines.
The Bureau's Flood Warning Centre issues Flood Warnings and River Height Bulletins for the Proserpine River during flood events. Qualitative flood forecasts are issued when moderate flood levels are likely to be exceeded.
The Whitsunday Regional Council is able to provide further information on flooding in your area of the Proserpine River catchment.
Flood Warnings and Bulletins
The Bureau of Meteorology issues Flood Warnings and River Height Bulletins for the Proserpine River catchment 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 :
Internet/World Wide Web
Interpreting Flood Warnings and River Height Bulletins
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 Proserpine River catchment - it contains the flood gauge heights of the more significant recent floods.
No significant floods (above minor) have been recorded since the Peter Faust Dam (Headwater) and Proserpine stations were installed in 1990.
Historical flood heights for all river stations in the Proserpine River catchment Floodwarning network, as shown on the map, are available from the Bureau of Meteorology upon request.
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.
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 Proserpine River catchment.
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
For further information, contact: