Flood reconstruction takes many forms


Floodwaters from the Brisbane River
in 2011 inundate parts of Rocklea and
the nearby suburbs of Indooroopilly
and St Lucia. Image from NASA

A recent survey in parts of Brisbane and Ipswich has revealed that extensive reconstruction and redevelopment has taken place in the wake of the devastating floods which hit the two centres in 2011.

The survey was undertaken by Geoscience Australia as a follow-up to a field survey carried out in the weeks immediately following the floods and a household postal survey in April and May 2012 of 5000 homes inundated by floodwaters.

Geoscience Australia researcher, Valdis Juskevics, said the various surveys had gathered information on the situation with households prior to, during and after the flood as well as information associated with inundation heights, damage, costs, insurance and actions taken to reduce the effect of future flooding.

"The latest survey provided photographic evidence of the physical reconstruction process, identifying a significant number of dwellings which had been either raised, demolished and rebuilt, or repaired to their original state," Mr Juskevics said.

"As well as the dwellings that had recently been elevated, either as a new build or as an elevation of an existing building, there were some which had been demolished and the land turned into open space," he said.

"Many also made internal changes such as installing water resistant flooring, wall linings and non-absorbent insulation as well as raising electrical outlets, air conditioning units and hot water systems and changing the use of lower story rooms. However, more than 47 per cent of those surveyed did not do anything differently in repairing or rebuilding their home to reduce the impact of future floods," Mr Juskevics said.

Mr Juskevics said that the information gathered will provide a valuable insight for engineers and authorities to help them improve arrangements for reducing the risk to households through better flood plain planning.