24 May 2024

New flood monitoring system for Bloomfield Bridge

| Chisa Hasegawa
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Wujal Wujal council CEO Kiley Hanslow and LGAQ disaster management lead Liz Drumm talk about the pilot flood monitoring system. Photo: Facebook.

The installation of a new flood monitoring system at the Bloomfield Bridge is helping Wujal Wujal Aboriginal Shire Council, Cook Shire Council and Douglas Shire Council better notify their residents of flood risks.

After residents across the region reported not hearing local flood sirens following Tropical Cyclone Jasper, Wujal Wujal Aboriginal Shire Council chief executive officer Kiley Hanslow sought a cost-effective and reliable solution.

The Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) identified a solution that uses LiDAR (light detection and ranging) technology to send an SMS warning when water get within 50 centimetres of the bridge deck.

Ms Hanslow said after the previous flood warning system was washed away, the councils needed a cheap and easily replaceable solution.

“LiDAR takes measurements using a laser from the sensor itself, which reduces the number of hardware components required to take a flood height reading,” she said.

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“In an instance where traditional flood infrastructure is washed away or damaged, installers need to revisit the site and replace several components, or even the entire solution, as we saw with the washed away siren, which can be extremely costly.

“With the new solution, if these LiDAR sensors are washed away, council can re-install a replacement themselves, which minimises cost and length of time the community will go without a working solution.”

Ms Hanslow said on 17 December, 2023, the flood siren had sounded earlier in the day, but by night, the level sensor in the flood camera pole had been destroyed when the water level rose within minutes.

“Having a flood alert system in place in our community is essential for enhancing public safety, improving emergency response capabilities, and promoting disaster preparedness,” she said.

“By investing in advanced warning systems and proactive measures like the LiDAR sensors and flood alerting solution, our community can better protect residents, reduce the impact of floods, and build a more resilient future.”

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