Emergency response to the Wollongong floods, August 1998
An SES persective. Opper, S. (1999) presented to the University of Wollongong Symposium, Institute of Engineers
The event in Wollongong has been described in many different ways but from an State Emergency Service (SES) perspective the event was definitely a flood response operation. In an operational context the SES is not concerned with why water is where it is. A flood can be considered as water in places where it is not normally supposed to be and which threatens loss of life and/or damage to property. Whether the flood producing rain originates from a heavy downpour directly over the affected area or whether it falls over a distant part of the catchment before flowing through the area, it is only the timing of the SES response that is changed. A flood can also originate from the so called sunny day failure of a water storage structure or the effect of elevated ocean levels during coastal storms.
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