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Old floods show Brisbane’s next big wet might be closer than we think

Jacky Croke writes in The Conversation (11.1.17) about new research based on palaeological flood records which suggests that floods as big as those which hit Brisbane in 2011 may be more common than we think.

‘Six years ago, a catastrophic flood unfolded in the Lockyer Valley in southeast Queensland. The floodwaters then spread on January 11 2011 across the Brisbane River floodplains, inundating the Brisbane CBD and inner suburbs, and bringing the state’s capital to a standstill.

‘The January floods came in the wake of other devastating floods that had hit Queensland towns and cities in December 2010, affecting an area bigger than France and Germany combined. Thirty-three people died in the 2010/2011 floods; three remain missing.

‘Our research, based on palaeological flood records, suggests floods of the size of January 2011 may be more common than we think. When the next one occurs is a matter of when, not if. So what can we do to plan better?’

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