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Thread: Engineering standards

  1. #1
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    Engineering standards

    While North America has been freezing, and southern Australia has been burning, spare a thought for Townsville in North Queensland. They have had more than their annual average rainfall in less than a week with much of the city inundated. What has this to do with engineering? The Ross River Dam which is above the city has peaked at 245% capacity and it has not failed. This is why engineers build structures to survive 1 in 100 year disasters. Cheers
    Every construction obeys the laws of physics. Whether we like or understand the result is of no interest to the universe.

  2. #2
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    I was reading about Townsville and the dam today. I had to go to Googlemaps to find out it is located about 150 miles south of Cairns.
    Ken

  3. #3
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    My good friend Ruth is in Townsville and has been documenting the flooding daily on FB/Twitter and her photos were also picked up by local press. All I can say is "wow"...that's a lot of water!
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  4. #4
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    I have a friend, Andrew, in Townsville. Fortunately he and his family are OK but it is a big disaster there.

  5. #5
    My community suffered 13 inches of rain in as many hours last August 31. Just over 30 homes destroyed, in excess of another 40 seriously damaged. The cost to fix the washed out bridges and roads, 7.1 million dollars in a community of just 6,000 residents. Our roads budget is tapped out and with some state and federal help, we may have the roads and bridges back by 2022. Some residents were caught on roads between washouts and had to walk in and out for over two weeks. My neighbors and I have begun plowing the snow off the road because there is no government money to do so. Mother nature can be a fickle one.

  6. #6
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    Creeker Richard Casey is in Townsville. I sent him an email.

    JKJ

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    My good friend Ruth is in Townsville and has been documenting the flooding daily on FB/Twitter and her photos were also picked up by local press. All I can say is "wow"...that's a lot of water!
    Complete with at least one Crocodile taking up residence and a LOT of snakes which all bite. My daughter wants to buy a house in Cairns but she can't inspect it due to the flood waters, I am going to recommend physchiatric care for her.
    Chris

    Everything I like is either illegal, immoral or fattening

  8. #8
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    Yea, my friend has a lot of snake-friends who visit her...most are not tiny, either. LOL
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  9. #9
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    Perry, it is interesting to hear about how disasters are managed in different cultures. Townsville, as with any community in Australia, has its own funding but this is backed up by state and federal disaster funding that is entirely separate from everyday road maintenance budgets. On top of this, everyone in the country is able to make a donation to the recovery at any bank, post office or supermarket. At present it is a 'pick your disaster' with the drought in Western NSW & Queensland, bushfires in Tasmania and Victoria and floods in Townsville.

    On the subject of bushfires, I was only just made aware that the way fire fighting aircraft and other resources are shared is a quite formal arrangement between California and Australia as the fire seasons are at different times. Well, they were at different times. Our bushfires are now starting earlier and California's are running later. The fire seasons in both hemispheres are overlapping now. Cheers
    Every construction obeys the laws of physics. Whether we like or understand the result is of no interest to the universe.

  10. #10
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    The Townsville disaster will be rectified very quickly due to looming elections and politicians wanting to get re-elected, there is nothing like an election to motivate a politician. Wayne is correct, all levels of government in Oz have access to disaster relief funds and insurance companies are very loudly reminded by the government that they had better get their act together and not deny any claims. My apologies for being OT.
    Chris

    Everything I like is either illegal, immoral or fattening

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Lomman View Post
    While North America has been freezing, and southern Australia has been burning, spare a thought for Townsville in North Queensland. They have had more than their annual average rainfall in less than a week with much of the city inundated. What has this to do with engineering? The Ross River Dam which is above the city has peaked at 245% capacity and it has not failed. This is why engineers build structures to survive 1 in 100 year disasters. Cheers
    I wrote to Creeker Richard Casey in Townsville and he is ok, but those downstream are not. Massive evacuations starting 1/2 mile downstream from his place. Only reported deaths so far were two liquor store looters who ran from the police into the flood water.

    Richard said they opened the flood gates wide last night at 8:30 to save the dam. The power was out long enough to spoil all the refrigerated food so they are living on cyclone rations. He sent a number of pictures.

    This walking bridge is gone now.
    bridge_Townville.jpg

    This bike path is now under 1.8M/ 6 foot of water:
    bridge_Townville_bike_path.jpg

    JKJ

  12. #12
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    The unique thing about this dam is the area holding the water is very flat for the purpose and small rise in height equals a very large spread in area covered by water. Normal dams are situated in very steep valleys or river courses to overcome this exact issue. I guess this has been it's saving grace in a way.
    Chris

    Everything I like is either illegal, immoral or fattening

  13. #13
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    Spent a week in Townsville many years ago. The people were kind and welcoming, and we very much enjoyed our time there. Little nature preserve not far away if memory serves.

    If there is anything we can do Chris, please post. We send plenty of money around the world to people who hate us. I could certainly spare a buck or two for our friends.

  14. #14
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    Thanks for the kind offer Nicholas, I am very lucky to be many thousands of kilometres away from Townsville. There doesn't seem to be any immediate relief being sought apart from government efforts at the moment.

    https://www.google.com.au/search?cli...UTF-8&oe=UTF-8
    Chris

    Everything I like is either illegal, immoral or fattening

  15. #15
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    Actually dams are built to survive during flooding far exceeding a 1% chance of occurrence in any year (typically known as a 100 year event). A flood flow that might result from something on the order of two to three times the "100 year" rainfall. A maximum probable rainfall (the exact terminology escapes me) is determined for the region based on historical records for over a hundred years. Those records might be rainfall or stream flow records. That is why most dams have an emergency spillway that may never see use in their lifetime. Of course that was not always the standard and very old or unregulated dams exist which can be prone to failure. Also failure can also be the result of many other factors including engineering errors, unforeseen soil conditions and so forth.
    NOW you tell me...

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