Community awareness is being encouraged following continued vandalism of the flood warning network which captures data and provides alerts during severe weather events.
The flood warning alert network consists of automatic rainfall and river height stations which regularly forward data via radio telemetry to Council and Bureau of Meteorology base stations.
The system provides early warning of heavy rainfall and river rises in the catchment and enables more accurate and timely flood warning and forecasts.
But Acting Mayor and Local Disaster Management Group Chair Bill Trevor said there had been several recent examples of the flood warning network being impacted by theft and vandalism.
“Council was advised by the Bureau that our Mt Watalgan rain gauge had stopped working which was a surprise as we had only recently repaired the gauge after it was stolen late last year,” Acting Mayor Trevor said.
“This is problematic because there have been several heavy rainfall events in that period, including last week’s rainfall, which we were unable to record data from.
“While a single fault doesn’t impact the ability of the overall flood warning network to provide timely information, it’s extremely beneficial for us to record historical data at particular localities for future analysis.”
Warning network awareness needed after repeat vandalism
Council staff this week inspected the Mt Watalgan gauge and confirmed it had not been responding due to being damaged as a result of vandalism.
“This also comes on the back of the Que Hee St water over road warning system in Bundaberg East that was completely destroyed by vandals last year, which is yet to be reinstated.
“In addition to the cost to continually repair or replace this infrastructure, we’re asking the community to consider the loss to the community from a safety perspective and help Council by keeping an eye out for any damage in future.
“We’re hoping that with greater awareness about what these gauges are and how they contribute to the overall flood warning network we can stop this reckless behaviour and ensure they remain in place and in good working order to do their job when needed.”
Find out more about the Burnett River Flood Warning System here.
If you have any information about vandalism, report it to Policelink on 131 444 or complete the online form here and select property damage and graffiti.
- Related story: Bureau explains warning terminology