Flood warning systems at Killarney and Leyburn under review

04 Mar 2024 |
4 March 2024

Southern Downs Regional Council and the Queensland Government are taking proactive steps to mitigate the risks associated with flooding in vulnerable communities on the Southern Downs, and the flood emergency warning siren systems in Killarney and Leyburn have been prioritised for live testing on 11 and 12 March 2024.

As both Killarney and Leyburn are susceptible to sudden flooding, the townships have been identified as sites to test the efficacy of flood emergency warning sirens as part of a comprehensive review of flood alert processes.

Council’s Manager Sustainability & Strategy Jon Charles said that the timely assessment of the flood warning siren system will identify issues, risks and opportunities related to the operational performance of the sirens.

“Communities in flood prone areas are vulnerable to sudden inundation and by assessing the efficiency of the flood warning siren system, we can mitigate for any risks and repairs ahead of a flood event,” Mr Charles said.

“Based on the outcomes of these upcoming tests, Council will consider and implement appropriate actions to improve the current emergency alert system and also futureproof it against potential stresses and shocks.

“Additionally, this process will indicate opportunities to improve the system and processes to alert the local communities to flood event dangers.”

The Killarney siren is located at the Killarney Fire Station on Ivy Street and is audible up to 915m. If the siren sounds with a flood warning message this means that there is imminent risk of flooding from the Condamine River and Gravel Creek, or flooding is already occurring that may directly affect the low-lying area of Killarney.

The Leyburn siren is located on Leyburn Forestry Road, adjacent to the Leyburn Police Station and is audible for up to 1,280m. If the siren sounds with a flood warning message this means that there is an imminent risk of flooding from Canal Creek, or flooding is already occurring that may directly affect low-lying areas of Leyburn.

“The sirens are the public warning component of a larger flood warning network that is monitored by Council and the Bureau of Meteorology’s Flood Warning Centre,” Mr Charles added.

“The network consists of a series of automatic gauges that measure rainfall and water course levels at strategic points throughout the relevant river and creek systems.”

Following the completion of these tests, Council will respond to advice provided by the engineers and develop an action plan to improve the alert system in future incidents.

The effectiveness and reliability of the sirens at Killarney and Leyburn will be examined and tested on Monday 11 March and Tuesday 12 March between the hours of 9am and 5pm and Council thanks the community for its patience whilst engineers conduct these critically important tests.

Council acknowledges the generous contributions jointly funded by the Australian Government and Queensland Government under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.

Last edited date 04 Mar 2024