The State Government is creating an online record of the
devastation caused by the floods and cyclone Yasi with aerial
images from across Queensland.
Premier Anna Bligh and Queensland Reconstruction Authority Chair Major General Mick Slater said the first series of maps covered over 100 communities (suburbs and towns) with other maps to be released progressively in coming weeks.
Baralaba, Brisbane suburbs, Bundaberg, Condamine, Emerald, Goondiwindi, Ipswich suburbs, Jandowae, St George, Surat, Talwood, Thallon and Theodore are included in the first round of aerial imagery and maps.
Aerial images showing Yasi's destructive force are also now available for Cardwell and Dunk Island with images for Mission Beach, Tully and surrounding areas to follow in the next few days.
The maps can be found at www.qldreconstruction.org.au from today.
"This interactive website contains real images of the damage caused by these natural disasters both from the air and on the ground," said Premier Anna Bligh.
"Queenslanders will be given free access to online maps showing the actual flood line for towns and cities affected by the 2010-11 floods.
"They will be able to type in their address, or the address of a loved one, and see where their property is located, in relation to the city or town flood line.
"This is a first. In past flood events, such as Brisbane's 1974 floods and other major flood events in the State, mapping of flood lines has been done by measuring the water gauge heights and then relying on available land contours to make an educated guess on where the water went.
"To prepare for future events we need to do better than educated guesses and this website can help make Queenslanders more prepared than ever before.
"We intended this site to act as a tool that people can use during future natural disasters, to access reliable flood maps."
Premier Bligh said the aerial imaging of Queensland's disaster-affected towns has been underway since December.
"The Queensland Government, in partnership with the Australian Defence Force and private aerial imaging providers, have been painstakingly capturing aerial images of Queensland's flood and cyclone devastated towns and cities," she said.
"This has involved hundreds of hours of painstakingly flying back and forth over our towns and cities in pre-determined patterns capturing footage with ultra-high resolution, digital imaging equipment.
"Queensland Government mapping officers have progressively been working through the imagery, going house-by-house, street-by-street, literally hand drawing the high water mark or flood line by plotting the debris and mud lines.
"The end result is an aerial image of our towns and cities with an overlay showing the flood line.
"No more guess work. Real photographs, real flood lines," Ms Bligh said.
Reconstruction Authority Chair Major General Mick Slater said they intend to provide these maps to the respective councils, both for their internal urban planning uses and for public display in council offices.
"We have captured very accurate flood lines for more than 100 of Queensland's hardest hit communities.
"There is also a second tier of towns and cities where aerial photography has been completed but the flood line is not as discernable for the officers doing the mapping.
"In these cases we will be working closely with local governments to map the flood line.
"It is also important that the Authority is very upfront about the fact that the mapping has been done by real people, so human error is always possible.
"Throughout our interactive map feature there are Community Feedback buttons. If you think we've got the flood line wrong in your area, please let us know via the feedback option.
"The Authority will then revisit the actual aerial photograph of the area to verify the feedback.
Major General Slater said the aerial imaging task was immediately extended to North Queensland when Yasi was clear of the region.
"We are in the early days of mapping the imagery from Yasi and today's release of aerial imagery and maps also includes Cardwell and Dunk Island. Mission Beach, Tully and surrounding areas will follow in the next few days.
"I would like to stress, that capturing aerial imagery and preparing these digital maps over such a large area of Queensland is no minor task.
"In simple terms we're talking about taking photographs and then mapping each impacted town or city over an area some six times larger than Great Britain.
"Please, I urge Queenslanders in those areas not yet mapped to please be patient.
"This is a painstaking process drawing lines on a map house-by-house and we want to get it right.
The Queensland Reconstruction Authority will use its online interactive mapping feature to show other reconstruction projects and activities, including road closures and openings, the progress of school reconstruction projects, electricity infrastructure repairs and more.
"Over time, as we gather verified data from local and State agencies on the reconstruction effort we will make this publicly available on our website," Major General Slater said.
"It is important Queenslanders are aware of the scale of the reconstruction effort and most importantly its progress in their local region."
Premier and Minister for Reconstruction
The Honourable Anna Bligh
Queensland first: State Government releases 'actual' flood line maps