Study: Floods will be worse
A NEW Nogoa River flood study has raised serious concerns about the future safety of Emerald, warning that the town will see worse flooding than ever before due to inaccurate historical data, claims of mismanaged development and extensive land clearing.
The damning study was completed more than two years ago by former Emerald mayor and consulting surveyor Craig Edmonston.
It challenges assumptions and calls for immediate action from the council.
"Council need to accept that historical data was wrong and has caused further incorrect conclusions and subsequent actions," Mr Edmonston said.
"The most serious consequence is that development has occurred in the floodplain south, west and north of the original town area."
He said if the correct heights were recorded, this development would never have been contemplated.
He argues a theory, for which he offered evidence, that all flood heights at the Emerald town gauge since 1946 have been overstated by 1.15m, describing official records as an "utter mess".
"Council says it is interested in flood mitigation," he said.
"But in fact they are creating worse flooding by allowing all this building to go on in the flood zone," he said. "It needs to be stopped immediately.
"The longer-term plan is to figure out how to stop the water coming into town. Now they say you need to comply with these new flood heights, but that doesn't stop the water coming in and it will just be shifted somewhere else."
Mayor Peter Maguire said he passed the study on to council's engaged flood experts and staff.
"Members of the public have their opinions, just like I do as a member of the public, and I'm sure Craig Edmonston does too," Cr Maguire said.
"What we will do as council is take notice of the experts and that is an ongoing process."
Mr Edmonston said Emerald could be flood- proofed.
"I've been to New Orleans twice since Hurricane Katrina and they can now keep the Mississippi River out of town - if they can do that there, we can keep the Nogoa out of Emerald," he said.
"It's just a matter of money and all options need to be looked at."