DRONE FOOTAGE: $3.7M flood works reach milestone
WHEN the Nogoa River peaked in the 2010/11 floods most of Emerald was inundated, the entire town isolated.
Six years on and the natural disaster still weighs heavy on locals' minds; flood mitigation remains a contentious topic with landholders still uncertain over the impact of proposed flood levees.
But the Central Highlands Regional Council have reached a major milestone this week.
After more than two years of planning and a mere few months work, the $3.7 million dollar Nogoa River flood mitigation project is complete.
Jointly funded by the Federal, State and Local Governments, the works saw about 270,000 cubic metres of soil moved from in and around the river to aid the flow of water in flood conditions at the site.
Soil has been stockpiled nearby to save time and money removing the soil from site should flood levees get the go ahead once council meets to discuss the final business case in April.
Hydraulic engineering modelling showed localised flooding reductions of up to 30cm in a flood the size of the 2010-11 event could be expected as a result of the Nogoa River works.
Engineering company KBR stated in their Floodplain Management Plan, prepared for the CHRC, that about 1540 buildings suffered over-floor flooding during the 2010-11 event.
They said while the flooding mechanism in Emerald was severe and complex, flooding primarily occurred because of four breakout from the Nogoa River, and by back up along drain LN1.
The breakouts occurred at Selma, New St, Robers St and through drains and low points along the golf course.
A series of flood mitigation works have already been completed to address such findings.
Central Highlands mayor Kerry Hayes explained the Nogoa River project included clearing soil and vegetation from four sites in the river at Codenwarra and downstream of the Vince Lester bridge in Emerald.
"I'd like to thank not only the local contractors for their excellent work on this job, but also the council staff that have persisted in such a professional manner despite the many setbacks and frustrations involved in bringing this project to completion," Cr Hayes said.
Council's long-awaited decision on flood levees was due to be handed down in November last year, but "serious mitigating factors" pushed the decision back to April 2017.
At the time, Cr Hayes said council would have to wear the disappointment, but swore the item would be on the April 11, 2017 agenda.
PROJECT COST AND FUNDING SOURCES:
- Queensland Government: $662 500
- Australian Government: $762 500
- Central Highlands Regional Council: $925 000
FLOOD MITIGATION MILESTONES:
- Nogoa River excavation works, June 2016
- Business case finalised for the preferred levee option, November 2016
- Vince Lester Bridge and Queensland Rail Bridge - engage Queensland Government to discuss removal and upgrade, 2016
- Raising New St evacuation route ($1.6m), November 2016
- Further Nogoa River excavation, 2017