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Flooding in North Warrnambool

City’s flood history to guide plan

News Article Date: 
Friday, 27 July 2018

A key to Warrnambool’s success lies in its proximity to an abundance of water.

Historically, the Merri and Hopkins rivers provided drinking water, the port provided access and reliable rainfall made fertile soils productive. 

In the 21st century Warrnambool continues to grow with an extra 10,000 people expected to call the city home by 2036.

This means the addition of about 200 new homes each year with the largest growth in housing stock near the Hopkins River to the east and the Merri River and Russells Creek to the north and west.

This has implications for flood management.

Warrnambool’s benchmark flooding experience was the 1946 floods in which 228mm of rain fell within a 48-hour period.  Combined with an extremely high sea it was the worst flood in living memory.
There have been many floods before and after 1946. 

“Much work has been done to understand how different sized floods affect our community,” Council Director City Infrastructure Scott Cavanagh said.  

“A major piece of work was the North Warrnambool Flood Mitigation project which has protected about 130 homes from flooding above floor level.  More needs to be done as the city expands and other communities like Woodford and Allansford grow.”

Warrnambool City Council is working with Utilis Consulting to develop a Floodplain Management Plan to consolidate all the existing information, and provide direction on future areas of investment for flood investigations, planning, mitigation and adaptation projects. 

The environmental values of Warrnambool’s rivers and floodplains need to be protected while also ensuring residents have a level of protection from floods.   

The community is invited to share views on the future of our floodplains and the Draft Floodplain Management Plan at a community drop-in day at the Pavilion Café, on Tuesday, July 31, 9am to 6pm.

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