A Guide To Toowoomba’s Flood Maps
In the summer of 2011 our region was decimated by deadly flooding.
Anna Bligh, Queensland’s premier at the time, labelled the disaster the state’s “darkest hour”.
In the wake of the destruction, with so many lives lost and over $200 million worth of damage sustained, the Toowoomba Regional Council began a process to better assess and identify flood-prone areas for the benefit of the community.
What is flood mapping?
Flood mapping, or flood risk mapping, outlines the level of risk of flooding for any given area.
Information from scientific studies is combined with satellite imagery and data from the previous flooding in a region. From this map, are generated, that show how likely it is that a flood will occur in future, and how major or minor that flooding might be.
Following the 2011 floods, the federal government launched a review, which resulted in the establishment of the National Flood Risk Information Project (NFRIP)
The road to Toowoomba’s flood risk mapping
In 2012 Toowoomba Regional Council received approval from the Minister for Infrastructure and Planning to amend council’s planning scheme. Those amendments would include improved local flood risk mapping in response to the devastation of the previous year.
Council then commissioned numerous studies to better understand the impact of floods on our region. It was one of the largest flood risk management studies undertaken by a local government in Australia. The studies were conducted by specialist engineers and incorporated the latest data and modelling techniques.
The information gained from the studies, coupled with community consultation, formed the basis of council’s planning around mitigating future risk.
Council then moved to amend the Toowoomba Regional Planning Scheme to help better protect both people and property from flooding through better informed planning controls and measures.
Using the flood map portal
The result of the council’s extensive work is the Toowoomba Regional Council flood risk information portal, which is available to view and use on the council website.
Discovering the risk of flooding for your property is easy. Accept the disclaimer then simply enter your property address into the search bar. You can also use your property reference number if you’ve received a flood risk letter from the council.
Once you’ve located your property, the assessed flood risk (if any) is provided. The level of risk breaks down into:
- extreme flood risk
- high flood risk
- medium flood risk
- low flood risk
- flood island
- overland flow (high or low)
- vulnerable uses restriction area.
The colour-coded levels of risk also appear shaded over a map, so you can clearly identify if your property is at risk, and by how much.
How does flood mapping affect me?
If you’re considering buying a home or land, you can use the flood risk information portal to help you make a more informed decision about your potential purchase. And if you already own property, you can find out your current flood risk.
The level of a property’s flood risk will also affect any associated insurance premiums. Soon after the release of the amended flood risk mapping, the Insurance Council of Australia stated they would use the data when pricing their insurance.
Looking to buy in Toowoomba? Talk to our experienced team today.
Photo credits: https://maps.tr.qld.gov.au/WAB/FloorLevelPortal/