New maps show severity of Victorian floods
The Department of Sustainability and Environment has released maps showing the severity of Victoria’s floods in January.
DSE’s Executive Director Sustainable Water and Environment Dr Jane Doolan said the maps show the scale of the January floods confirming that they were the largest on record for many parts of the state.
“These new maps increase our knowledge of flood behaviour for the different river systems and will help authorities to improve future flood responses,” Dr Doolan said.
“Many areas in western and central Victoria recorded the largest flood on record and other areas recorded the second largest flood on record.”
“This year started with the wettest January on record in Victoria with widespread rainfall across most of the state and the western part of the state recording rainfall three to four times the January average.
“This resulted in widespread flooding in all of the major river systems including the Wimmera, Avoca, Loddon and Campaspe Rivers – only a year ago these rivers were bone dry in patches because of the ongoing drought.”
“Jeparit recorded the highest daily rainfall during the January floods – 161.2mm in just one day. This is the highest daily rainfall ever recorded there in over 100 years of record keeping.”
“Seven monitoring stations broke their highest daily rainfall records.”
“The magnitude of the floods was due to a combination of extreme rainfall as well as saturated conditions of the catchment and floodplains at the time of the event,” Dr Doolan said.
“While the base data used for to show the severity of the floods was considered appropriate at the time, further records may find that these flood events were larger.”
The maps were generated using data collected on the current floods through the use of aerial photography and remote sensing.
DSE has also released a range of aerial photos comparing before and after the floods. They can be viewed at www.dse.vic.gov.au/floodimages.