Flood technology work
Numurkah and the surrounding area will be better equipped for future flooding thanks to seven new flood gauges in the Broken Creek catchment.
In 2012, after severe flooding in the area, the Numurkah Floodplain Management Study started, marking the start of the community reference group in conjunction with the council.
After years of planning and consultation, the construction of rain gauges was celebrated by Moira Shire Council infrastructure general manager Andrew Close, Cr Marie Martin, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning flood plain officer Darren Wilkie and Bureau of Meteorology senior hydrologist Yves Bessard in Numurkah on Thursday.
Mr Close said the plan underwent public consultation in 2015 and again last year for appropriate mitigation solutions.
Because of the long process, council approached DELWP to get gating installed upstream of the town, addressing a lack of warning that residents expressed as a major criticism from the 2012 floods.
‘‘To put the community in a better place, we felt the need was to get that gating installed and operating, so at least for the time up until mitigations are completed, there was a means by which the town could have some warning in an event,’’ Mr Close said.
‘‘Over the last 15 to 18 months or so, we’ve been working through identifying the locations and then going through the necessary permits.’’
Mr Close said in the past three to four months, installation had taken place at the seven sites — Broken Creek (Melville St; Numurkah and Larissa Rds, Katunga), Nine Mile Creek (Sellicks Rd, Numurkah); Muckatah Creek (Naring Hall Rd, Numurkah; Katamatite East School Rd, Cobram East), Dookie water storage and Goorambat.
Construction of another gauge is planned along Broken Creek at Katamatite East School Rd, Katamatite, next month.
Once commissioned, the council will own the new assets and fund the maintenance through the Northern Regional Water Monitoring Partnership.
Mr Close said the public could access all collected data from these sites on the Bureau of Meteorology website.
Mr Bessard said BOM was glad to be supporting the council with this flood warning system.
He said the next step would be the construction of a forecasting model to assess the level of warning needed before flooding occurred in town.
With the new gauges funded by DELWP, Mr Wilkie was delighted to see part of the overall strategy completed.
‘‘It’s important working with local communities to deliver services that are fit for purpose to enable them to enact their own plans,’’ he said.
Completion of the Numurkah Floodplain Management Study and Plan is dependent on funding, with more than $15 million needed.
Mr Close said the council had committed part funding with Victorian Government election promises in play, however the plan was awaiting Federal Government commitment.
Flood works: Andrew Close, Marie Martin, Darren Wilkie and Yves Bessard braved the wet weather to discuss new flooding technology in the region.