Council prepares for flood, warns residents

The 1926 flood hit North Road in Bassendean.
The 1926 flood hit North Road in Bassendean.

Director of Community Development Graeme Haggart said through digital mapping, the town was able to define what properties were vulnerable to flooding.

It recently conducted an awareness program that included helping residents prepare their property and family for a flood.

Mr Haggart said in an effort to ensure drains stayed clear, a robotic camera was sent down to check for possible blockages such as branches and vegetation.

Since Bassendean last flooded, there have been many new roads and homes built, which meant water would inundate additional and different parts of the town.

‘The flood inundation region has altered with urban infill of the Swan River flood plain over the decades,’ Mr Haggart said.

‘The same amount of water will be disbursed differently as a result.

‘The maps used by the town for the recent flood mitigation program relied on the latest maps provided by the Department for Water that had recalibrated the flood regions in partnership with Geoscience Australia and the Bureau of Meteorology.’

The Bassendean Living Smart Group will host a seminar on personal preparedness planning for flooding on Wednesday, October 2, in the Bassendean Memorial Library from 7pm.

Curtin Sustainability Policy Institute Adjunct Professor Christine Hogan will facilitate the seminar. Numbers are limited and bookings essential. Call 9377 8073 to register.

Past floods in Bassendean

– The earliest record of the Swan River flooding was in 1830. The river rose by 6m.

– In 1862 there were three weeks of heavy rain over the Swan-Avon catchment that covered Perth.

– In March 1934, the Swan River rose 5.8m in less than eight hours at Guildford, causing considerable damage to unharvested grapes.

– The last significant flood event to affect households in the lower lying areas of Bassendean occurred in 1983 when 100mm of rain fell in 48 hours on a `wet catchment.

– Climatologists predict the drying trend experienced in Perth since the 1960s will continue and weather will become increasingly extreme with more severe storms occurring more regularly.

Editorial, page 8