No room for complacency as Brisbane faces La Nina a decade on from 2011 floods
Ten years on from the catastrophic 2011 floods that brought Brisbane to its knees, we warning residents to not be complacent in their flood planning as another La Nina looms.
This January marks ten years since the historic flood event which inundated more than 24,000 homes and businesses, caused $440 million in damage and sparked a mammoth recovery effort.
“As a city and as a community, we’re shaped by our experiences and no one could ever forget the 2011 floods. As a city built on a flood plain and facing another La Nina, how we plan and what we do to minimise the impact flooding is crucial,” Lord Mayor Cr Schrinner said.
“The last time a major La Niña event was declared was in 2010-11, so as we prepare to mark the flood anniversary in the midst of another La Nina, I want to encourage every resident to prepare their families, homes and businesses for not just flooding, but all types of weather.
“Today I was joined by residents of Glenfalloch in New Farm, one of the first high-rise buildings in Queensland.
Ten years on from their first flood preparation drill which helped minimise flood damage to their building in 2011, they believe you can never be too prepared and gathered together to conduct another drill.
“The drill is also known as a ‘dry run’ and involves everything from erecting flood barriers by lining entryways with black plastic and sandbags to double checking all nuts and bolts were in place and rust free.
“This significant work will better prepare them to respond to disaster and is a fantastic example of how residents across the city can proactively flood-proof their homes.”
Cr Howard said what Brisbane was able to achieve in the weeks, months and years since the floods was a testament to the resilience, strength and determination of the community,” Cr Howard said.
“Looking back, the numbers are astounding; 375,000 sandbags provided, more than 24,000 properties inundated, 12,000 people housed in emergency evacuation centres, seven ferry terminals destroyed and another 16 damaged, 19,000 kilometres of road flooded, and 400,000 tonnes of waste removed,” she said.
“In the middle of the mud and the muck, a 60,000 strong ‘mud army’ pulled on their boots to begin the massive clean-up to help complete strangers who had lost everything. During a very dark time, our sense of mateship and community spirit remained strong.”
“Council has also undertaken significant work over the past decade to ensure Brisbane is a more resilient, safe and flood-ready city.
“In the first six years following the floods, our Flood Action Plan had addressed all 53 Flood Response Review recommendations, all 74 Commission of Inquiry interim report recommendations and all 50 Commission of Inquiry final report recommendations.
“Residents are now more informed than ever with access to free FloodWise Property Reports, Flood Awareness Maps, an easy-to-use Flooding in Brisbane guide and severe weather early warning alerts, with more than 2.8 million SMS alerts, emails, push notifications and landline messages sent already this storm season (since 1 September).”
To coincide with the 10-year flood anniversary, Museum of Brisbane (MoB) launched a new online exhibition by local artist Holly Neilson titled A City Submerged.
MoB Director Renai Grace said the exhibition was a stirring reminder of the impact of the floods on the community.
“As the storytellers of Brisbane, its people and history, MoB felt compelled to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the 2011 Brisbane floods and what better way to reflect upon that time than through art,” Ms Grace said.
The exhibition launches on Thursday 7 January and can be viewed at www.museumofbrisbane.com.au.
Tips on how to prepare for severe weather, along with further information on Council’s current flood initiatives, can be found by visiting www.brisbane.qld.gov.au.
2011 January Floods in numbers
- 322 millimetres of rain in the Brisbane catchment
- 375, 000 sandbags distributed
- 94 suburbs inundated
- 24,696 properties completely or partially flooded
- 200,000 residents affected
- 12,000 people in evacuation centres
- $440 million total cost to Brisbane City Council
- 23 ferry terminals damaged or destroyed
- 19,000 kilometres of road and 28.8 kilometres of footpath damaged
- 155 traffic intersections impacted
- 12,036 potholes created
- 56 bridges, culverts and boardwalks damaged
- 406 flood-affected parks
- 22,973 registered volunteers
- 400,000 tonnes of waste removed
- 220 skip bins deployed
- 341 asbestos removals
- 6,338 tetanus vaccinations