The 2008 floods in Queensland: a case study

Heavy rains occurred in January 2008 along the Queensland coast between Townsville and Mackay and inland over central and south-western Queensland. These rains were associated with a low-pressure centre tracking southward across the state, the remnant of tropical cyclone Helen. Coastal and inland river catchments flooded. The Warrego River, which flows along the northern edge of Charleville, rose by 6m, peaking on 22 January, and Bradley’s Gully, which flows through the middle of town, rose by 3 m, peaking on 18 January.

The coastal region of Mackay experienced minor flooding in the January event. However, on 15 February, an intense and localised rainstorm produced a flash flood that damaged 4,000 houses and the local road network and caused schools to close. Power was lost to 6,200 homes and mobile and landline communications were disrupted.

This fact sheet summarises the final report The 2008 Floods in Queensland: A Case Study of Vulnerability, Resilience, and Adaptive Capacity. The objectives of this project were to: 

» compare the impact of flooding, immediate response and subsequent adaptations in Charleville and Mackay;
» understand how societies that are regularly flooded respond and adjust to flood events, and the extent of their resilience;
» understand the characteristics of communities that are ‘on the edge’, where flooding might push them into non-viability;
» understand the extent of flood mitigation measures (including State Planning Policy 1/03) that have been applied to reduce vulnerability to flood events; and
» identify community characteristics of vulnerability, resilience and adaptive capacity with respect to flooding of households, businesses and institutions.

View the final report

This photo “08 Storm Brisbane” is copyright ©2008 Nam Nguyen and made available under an Attribution 2.0 license


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Fact sheet
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Attributions and Constraints
National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility