Cameras telling story of the flood

Remote monitoring cameras a hit in Gulf Country flood


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A camera between Normanton and Karumba shows the extent of the flooding. Images sourced from usee.com

A camera between Normanton and Karumba shows the extent of the flooding. Images sourced from usee.com

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Images of the expanding flood event in Queensland’s north west beaming out from cameras stationed on river crossings across the region have so far attracted 30,000 views, and more each day.

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Images of the expanding flood event in Queensland’s north west beaming out from cameras stationed on river crossings across the region have so far attracted 30,000 views, and more each day.

The cameras, hosted by Carpentaria, Burketown, Diamantina, McKinlay, Richmond and Flinders shires, have been in place for four or more years but are finally coming in to their own.

McKinlay mayor, Belinda Murphy, said they had been invaluable.

“I wish we had more,” she said. “They’re giving a good insight into where the water is coming from and helping people make decisions.”

The extraordinary changes that can happen in just two days in the Gulf Country river systems.

The extraordinary changes that can happen in just two days in the Gulf Country river systems.

Prior to such widespread flooding, Cr Murphy said trips to town could often be a guessing game or involve numerous phone calls to work out where water was flowing in the wet season.

“Previously, people were at risk of getting stuck between creeks.

“These images also give us preliminary evidence of flood damage.”

Richmond’s Will Harrington was contracted to install them and he said councils were now finding they could close roads without sending anyone out to physically inspect crossing heights.

An extra metre of water across the flat landscape between McKinlay and Julia Creek is a huge volume of water.

An extra metre of water across the flat landscape between McKinlay and Julia Creek is a huge volume of water.

“You won’t find them on Main Roads websites but I’d love to see it happen,” he said. “I understand it’s a challenge for them to integrate this system into their own system though.”

The remote monitoring cameras are the same ones Harrington System Electronics use at troughs on properties, costing $1800.

Primed to take photographs at certain times through the day, they work on either 3G or satellite broadband so that they can work anywhere.

“It’s excellent that we’ve been able to provide a solution that saves time and manpower,” he said.

Will’s next project is to make time lapse movies of the ebb and flow of water for the councils that have them installed.

“The volumes of water we’re seeing is just mind-boggling,” he said.

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