Rising temperatures could mean further flash floods

AUTHORITIES are ready to tackle predicted flash floods across the region.

Civil engineering experts say it is time to act after new research analysing three decades of weather patterns revealed rising temperatures could bring massive downpours and destructive flooding across Rockhampton and Livingstone.

The dire prediction suggests storm-driven peak rainfall patterns will intensify as the Rockhampton and Livingstone regions heat up.

University of New South Wales researcher Professor Ashish Sharma said every Australian town and city was at risk.

"It means that most people in Australia can expect to see intensification in the magnitude of flash flooding in smaller catchments," he said. Professor Sharma and his colleagues based their findings on 30 years of data collected at 79 weather stations across the country.

Stations monitored included those at Maryborough, Longreach, Kingaroy, Oakey, Rockhampton, Amberley, Gympie and Mackay.

"We have linked increased temperatures to less uniform rain patterns within storms," lead researcher Conrad Wasko said.

"This suggests that more rainfall will be dumped over a shorter duration."

Rockhampton Regional Council local disaster management group chairman, Cr Tony Williams said the researchers' findings were not surprising.

"With this in mind, the council is concerned about any increase in risk to its community," he said.

Cr Williams said flooding over the past few years had led to a significant study of the creeks and waterways in North Rockhampton, with the results incorporated in the city's new town plan.

Livingstone Shire Council is also ramping up protections to help keep the region safe.

- APN NEWSDESK



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