Flood tech­nol­ogy work

The Cobram Courier - - NEWS - By Ash­lea Wi­toslawski

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.

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