Flooding in East St during a flood event.
Flooding in East St during a flood event. Candyce Braithwaite

Flood alert gear for townships

LEYBURN and Killarney are the most recent communities to gain further funding from the State Government as part of a $50 million development plan across Queensland.

Community Recovery and Resilience Minister David Crisafulli announced $406,544 would be allocated for the Southern Downs Regional Council under the Local Government Floods Response Subsidy.

"These programs are a turning point for Queensland communities threatened by flooding," Mr Crisafulli said.

"Locals know best about what their community needs and what needs to be done to protect it."

The funding will be used for the installation of flood alert systems in Killarney and Leyburn.

Council director of engineering Peter See said the alert scheme would involve installing rain gauges which would be calibrated to flooding events.

"They will be positioned upstream of the two towns," he said.

"For Killarney, it will be up near the bluff or headwaters of the Condamine.

"Leyburn's will be somewhere between Leyburn and Karara, near Canal Creek."

Flood systems were also installed earlier this year in Allora and between Killarney and Warwick, but Mr See said the new alerts would be "more automated" and "tighter".

"Particularly, Killarney only has a small warning period in terms of a large flood," he said.

"We want an automated system because the areas where these things happen are relatively isolated.

"We don't necessarily understand what is going on until it is too late.

"We often only have a feeling what is likely to happen ... getting another automatic gauge will give us more certainty."

The system will firstly alert council staff on the disaster management group in the event of a flood.

It will activate a siren, different from the rural fire brigade's, to let locals know a flood is on the way.

Mr See said the alarm should give Killarney about two hours of advance flood warning, and Leyburn about an hour and a half to two hours.

"It depends on size of flood and flooding activity," he said.

Mr See said the council was surprised to get funding for the two systems.

"We thought we would get one or the other, not both."



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