Recordings of Katherine River water levels at Nitmiluk Gorge & correlating time at the Katherine Bridge April 2006

(these are just records I published as I went, whether they be factual or not, it was as I saw it at the time, when we were feeling a little bewildered at what was really going on)

In theory there is a 12ish hour delay from gorge to town

And 6ish hour delay from Town to Florina Rd region 15km mark (where we are).

Time Gorge reading (m) hrly increase   Katherine Bridge (M) hourly rise (m)
6am       14.08  
7am 6.79     14.3 0.22
8am       14.66 (8.30am)  
9am 7.19     14.8  
10am 7.63     15.08 0.28
11am       15.3 0.22
12noon 7.82       still some bitumen at Rowlands quarry crossing
1pm 7.93 (1.30pm)     15.9  
2pm         (Rowlands creek crossing was at 0.4 & rising fast, conventional cars spluttering)
3pm 8.00     16.36  
4pm 8.10 0.10   16.52 0.16
5pm 8.30 0.20   16.70 0.18
6pm 8.40 0.10 more rain up gorge 16.88 0.18
7pm 8.64 0.24   17.04 0.16
8pm 8.82 0.18   17.16 0.12
9pm 8.95 0.13   17.32 0.16
10pm 9.01 0.06   17.40       (10.30pm 17.50m) 0.18
11pm       17.54 0.14
12pm       17.64 0.10
06APR06 sorry had a sleep        
6am 9.46 peak ?     18.25  
6.50am       18.35  
10.42       18.63  
11.05 9.40     18.67 22mins 4cm
11.25       18.71 20mins 4cm
1.05pm       18.79 8cm in 1.5hrs
2.05pm 9.30     18.81 0.02m (2 cm in 1 hr)
3.05PM       18.89  
3.55 9.20     18.89 steady? or a lull?
5.10 9.17     18.89 (prediction of 19.20 @ 9pm?)
6.00 9.03     18.95  
7.00PM 8.96   (prediction of 19.20 @ 9pm?) 18.93 Falling or steady? ish
8.00 8.87     18.97 rising
9.00 8.82 (I had 8.82?)     18.99  
10.00 8.78     18.97  
11.00       18.97 falling? or steady
12.00     Gone to Bed as it "appears" to be steady and I expected it on the porch by now.


19.01 This reading off the BOM site, and I dont think it got too much higher than this.
6.05AM 8.26     18.95 Falling?
7.03       18.93 steady?
7.50       18.93  
10am 8.07 (for 9am)     18.89 It says Rising/steady?
11AM 8.03 for 10am     18.81 Now that is dropping !!
12lunch       18.85 Peaked 15km sth  of town past Rockhole (or noticeably dropping 2 cm)
1PM       18.77  
2.PM     The last 4 hrs readings have fluctuated 18.81 Back up again (could be that frog in the tube?)
3 PM       18.77  
4       18.69  
5pm 7.65     18.67  
6PM 7.61     18.63  
7PM 7.53     18.63  
8PM 7.47     18.57  
9PM       18.55 And no rain on the radar
6.73   Saturday 08APR06 18.27  
6AM       18.23  
7AM       18.15  
9AM       18.07 2hrs (wife was on phone so missed 8am)
10AM       18.01  
11AM       17.82  
12lunch 5.97     17.78  
1PM       17.68  
3PM       17.54  
4PM       17.46 1.5 metres since peak
6PM       17.30  
8PM       17.15 (still in moderate category of flooding)
9PM       17.04  
Sunday 09Apr06
      15.94 (10 hrs 1 metre drop)
2PM     (gets to around this level once or twice each year) 14.92 (7 hrs 1 metre drop)
10PM       13.60 (8hrs 1.3m drop)
Monday 10Apr06
      12.26 (8hrs 1.3m drop)

05April05- Now since I cannot find an updated site from the Katherine Counter disaster Group, I have to work out my own predictions.

The official  flood level prediction at 5PM of 18 metres in town from results at 3.00PM (8.00m at the gorge)
Did they work it out this way using the local rule of thumb........(8 metres at Gorge plus 10m = 18m)?

However river level still rising at Gorge at 10PM tonight 05Apr06 (9.01) does this equate to nearly 18.6 metres? at 10ish tomorrow 06Apr06.
Please be advised that I am just playing with figures here & really have no idea. (9.01 plus 10 (less a bucket full) = 18.6m.
I hope not as I left some files in my draw at work & cannot get in to town.

The 98 flood saw 10.8 m at the gorge before the gauge failed and the level in town eventuated to 20.3m (10.8 gorge reading plus 10m (minus 0.5m))
Crude way to work it out I know, but it sort of works.

UPDATE 05Apr06- SHIT !! Its Midnight & the latest ABC news says evacuations are going on in town & they expect the river to get to 19 Metres tomorrow. (They must have a better rule of thumb than me?)

Oh well, time to move more gear and cars to higher ground , empty the cupboards & remove the internal doors off hinges (again) etc etc ....

- As of 6.30AM, 06Apr06 roads cut north & South of Katherine (King River 40km sth) & near Kalano turnoff on Stuart Hwy. River "expected" to now peak at 18.8m - Current bridge 18.25m slowly rising & Gorge 9.46m (still slowly rising???)

Now if we apply the old "rule of thumb" with the reported Gorge levels (apparently at 9.46m via radio report- the actual automatic telemeter report from the gorge has ceased reporting to the internet anyway) 9.46 plus 10 = 19.46 less 0.5stab in dark = 18.96m 6ish tonight. Please be advised that I am again just playing with figures here & really have no idea. (But it was 10PM at night & I was tired) (another update just then at 5.00PM & I was closer!) (Well how about that my prediction from 10PM last night for a level of 18.96 at 6PM tonight was only 1cm out) (Lucky guess or what)

UPDATE as of 9AM - Looks like another "official  prediction" back to 18.89 metres (however these are not peak predictions).

First hand news out along Florina Rd (well our island part anyway). The store is a bit deep to get through to (from Rockhole side) and no point going over to see the Rowlands Quarry crossing. You can see the river from Florina road (normally cannot). Long Johns creek is flowing but almost still water at 0.20m across road.

At 2.30 Today the latest "current river level" is 18.81m (slowing down to a 2 cm rise over the last hour) That is GOOD news.

So if it does peak in town by 6-7PM tonight (just theorising here), that means the rest of us out along Florina rd past Rockhole have to wait till midnight for the "peak" (in the dark)

Thanks for the emails & photo's that are being sent in. I've had thanks/info sent from people in Katherine, the US Military??, Adelaide and other ex-Katherinites  from unknown parts. And a  mention on the radio. Cheers, keep it coming. ( add to this more in Adelaide, Bootu Creek mine site, Exmouth WA (with cyclone bearing down), Hervey Bay QLD, Kalkarindji 500 km south west of Katherine)

UPDATE 5PM Today - Another "Official" revised estimate is now 19.2 metres to "peak" at about 9.00PM.

UPDATE 6.00PM - after sitting on 18.89 for a few hours, the river gauge level is going again with movement up (must of been stuck a bit, or tree frogs? )
Now on 18.95 ,actually steady, up & down from 10PM & in reality only risen 10cm in 6 hours


07AM - I have been in contact with Michael at NT Tech Rivercam site & he gets his POLICE UPDATES in email direct from  from the NT Police.

Does anyone have a factual piccy or observation of the level in town?. I read 800mm depth at giles st intersection, but is this from the bitumen hump, the gutter or footpath or medium strip? ie how deep is it (with the tape measure) through certain shops like PO, Woolies doors (now nor forgetting that it is on different level to Target side), Johnnies , Outback Disposals, BP??

10.30AM - News still says we are expecting 19.2m later today? Maybe once the town has filled with water, the current 18.89m level can get on with it and rise to the suggested 19.2m ? It just seems like a big rise (30cm) to get to 19.2 when the level has been "hovering" between 18.89 at 3pm yesterday, getting to 19.01 at midnight & back on 18.89 now. Maybe they are using an actual qualified hydrologist straight from Uni to give predictions (hmmmm)

11.15AM ....Man... Kate has just been on radio and I "think" she says it is expected to drop after staying steady a bit longer in town. Then expected to drop 1.5m per hour (I think she means "day") (She did say she was just driving up the street so was possibly pre-occupied) . No wonder people are getting confused out there. (the official report 2 hours ago was still expecting to get to 19.2m).
Oh Well, will have to wait until 3.PM for the next official report?????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

Make your own decisions from the chart above !!!

For anyone who may of been reading my suggestions for "next time" (It got to big so I moved it to its own page)


It isn't over yet, there is still downstream of Katherine to go yet. (Cossack & Ivanoff rd)
Residents out along Florina rd will be cut off for a few more days (until river gets back down to about 14m)(cut off at Rowlands Quarry creek 15m when rising & 14ish metres when falling at the bridge) People at Rockhole will no doubt be hungry at the moment (except for the lads with the wallaby this morning).
There are alot of displaced people from outlaying Communities in town.
Shops to be operational again, easter eggs to buy (Hope Woolies put them up high)

2.00PM Happy Corner store is still operational (Cnr 3rd & Giles street), Not much keeps Anna down. Katherine Fruit & Veg & Jones Meat Mart are in full swing out at Crawford Street.

3.00PM Had friends who helped Fe clean up in Fe's Shop (fairly centrally located in the main street between Giles st & Vic hwy). She only had a couple of inches through the shop. However during the sweeping etc they went and yelled at 3 passing vehicles during that time as they caused bow waves of water through the shop. (2 Police Cars & a RAAF vehicle) Oh Well! They have places to go.

4.00PM Mayor Anne said on the radio that Katherine Food Stores has also opened up in the main street.
Still no official website report indicating that we are not expecting 19.2 metres, even though it still says we are. (currently 18.75m and dropping)
ABC Radio just said water is receding..... must of missed other important reports during some of that classical music on the radio.

6PM - levels out past Rockhole Community (15km downstream) are also dropping slowly (a few centimetres in the last 3 hours)
So I expect to get a nice sleep tonight. Luckily we always stock up on "flood supplies" each wet season, so have enough tucker to get us by for a while. (It's just those 2001 use by dates and mould I have to get used to.)

Had to have a laugh? (probably not an appropriate word) last night at the news footage on TV. The camera crews driving through town getting wonderful footage to get the "real" story out, however all I was watching on TV was their bow wave emanating  from the vehicle and surging into the direction of the shops and houses. Now if my office premises in town happen to be saved from getting water through (I'm near the traffic lights) so it is touch and go, and IF the water level was "say" 5cm below the door and "safe", I'm afraid the 20cm bow wave will ooze muddy water into the office and that means carpet to rip up. So If I'm in Darwin and happen to go around visiting all the media outlets offices with a bucket or two of muddy water, please be very understanding. If I was smart I would of remembered to at least duct taped the door openings instead of just getting everything to high ground. But if the water level got to 1cm above the slab, what's another 15-20cm mean (not much really, it's already in there).

Saturday  07Apr06 6AM

Good Morning, I'm none the wiser at this stage. I can "assume" that the water is all but puddles in the main street (traffic lights area) not sure about the Lindsay street area (Thats near BP & Katherine Times & Target (Yes we have a Target Country , where the old YMCA used to be after the "old" flood of 98.)

Ahhh the memories, for those who were stuck out here on the island of Hendry & Helena last time, the "Curtis's" (from where we all obtained our food rations )( & I remember cabbage soup? and the best avocado I'd ever seen) say G'day & are ready with mop & bucket to come down from Darwin if needed.

What will occur in the next few days/week as the trucks can get in, they will be cleaned out pretty quick & people will be waiting for essentials again, the shop staff will be overworked. No-one will have any cold hard cash until the banks convert electrons to money. There will still be homes in the lower areas in water, and the news will report everything as OK. There will either be sludge everywhere or a coating of mud. When it dries, all passing vehicles turn it into dust (which coats everything again). Since it is now April (we will need a few late showers (like it or not) to clean up the place and make it shiny again), Places like the Hot Springs , deep in the riverbank will be coated in mud for the rest of the year unless there is a few hard showers & we need to bounce back & keep the tourist happy.

7.30AM - The bridge is open to people on the North side of town (Darwin side) however there is still about a metre of water across Stuart Hwy at the Kalano Turn off area (low spot, natural floodway) & this is dropping, expecting to get essential vehicles into town later today.
Chambers Crescent (near the Sabu Horseman statue, KRTA) area is still closed with a bit of water still there & road damage. There is still a roadblock there for the time being. (Give it a bit longer...)

From the front page

Apparently nice & dry & fully operational
Catering van in Crawford street selling burgers  drinks & NT news etc
Jones Meat Mart & Katherine Fruit & Veg are operational out at their premises in the Industrial area Eastside (ie Crawford street way)
Anna at Happy Corner Store was working flat chat as usual cooking up hamburgers & fish & chips.
Katherine Food Stores are open in the main street.

9.20AM More emails coming in informing me that other shops are opening up today, Woolies, catering van out at Crawford street etc, so a bit of order is being restored to people eating habits.
Food drops out our way at the Hillen block and further down stream at Morrissons. (people out here will not have access to town until the river is at least 14m) so we cannot get in and help out our mates (that if more frustrating than anything) (although there are places out here that need help and we can concentrate our efforts locally for now)

12.00 word from Florina station & they are expecting it to peak down there at around Sunday Nightish . Good luck.

1PM - I've had several reports about fuel problems - ie too late now the mix of water & fuel is in your tank. There are fuel stations working on the issue right now.
People have been shopping in Woolies and apparently all is well there. My Office has had bow wave water through it. Oh well a small price to pay. only 1 carpet to rip up.

4.15PM News reports of criticism re the delay of situation and flood siren warnings(that's a surprise). We had friends who had water rushing in the street as the sirens were sounding

6.00PM - Been for a drive out along Florina Rd across LongJohn Creek (didnt put my bow wave through any homes or shops). The creek was on 400mm (Thanks to the other lads who thought they would come across from the other way at the same time.........youth of today, will they ever learn)

There are still homes in the water at Kriloff Rd and will no doubt do with a bit of help tomorrow from those high & dry. (road photos on website)
Saw a sign tonight indicating food drops will be happening on Helena rd at 10AM & 4PM (about half way down the road)(Now wether that was for today only, I am not sure)
It will still be Monday before we can all get out over Rowlands quarry creek (depending on river drop). Lucky they raised it a few years ago.

Sunday 09Apr06

Some residents out this way are only just getting access inside their homes.

Emails from some in town  (Katherine North, out gorge road way) who are still cleaning up.

****Florina residents*****
4X4's (Toyota's) are now getting to town over Rowlands Quarry creek (on 0.5ish)
at 3PM Sunday.   Katherine Bridge equivalent 14.74m (falling).
At 6PM now a conventional vehicle can get to town.

  Florina Rd images Sunday at 5.53PM
(Skiing at Florina Rd?? As we do out this way!)

I note with interest the way the water laid down the grass at the railway crossing into Springvale??

Met a neighbor at the creek crossing, I said I went through on Wednesday at 2.00PMish on 0.4 metres, he came through at 6PM and was pointing to his window on the 4X4 (1.2Metres). (thank goodness for a snorkle.) I think we need the river level gauges moved out 50 metres either side of the crossings so we can see the heights before we get into trouble. (we had everyone trying to work out what they were at 3Pm on Sunday, until someone just drove through to work it out) (obviously going stir crazy on our island home.)

Monday 10th April06

Back to work.

The town is looking good. You would hardly know there was water about. The skip bins are positioned around the place and rubbish is being placed in them. A far cry from 1998 when you just dragged stuff out to the gutter/footpath (piled higher than your vehicle) and within a few days the big CAT 980? loaders came along and just scooped your mud caked belongings into a truck never to be seen again. You can hear it coming for hours as it worked its way along the streets.

I think that this time there was minimal damage (in a sense that many neighbors in some streets were OK, or just needed a quick hose out as there was not much mud this time) and this freed them up to help out the people across the road who may of had a metre through the house.)

Not forgetting there were some poor bastards who had their roof gutters filled by floodwater and my heart goes out to you.

Tuesday 11Apr06

Saw the Insurance assessors around in Donegan Crescent this afternoon. Facilitating the best lawn sale results some people will ever have. (That is what it felt like last time when haggling over replacement prices of items)

The flood  (counter disaster) committee seem to be coping a bit of stick at the moment! & I have given my opinion on the information transfer side.
But when it comes to actual predictions, it really is a toss of the coin. 19 Metres is the Bridge Level this time & "history tells me" that this should equate to a 1.3 metre drop in the flood level from 1998 when it reached 20.3metres. But it was nothing like that at all. I expected water to lap my house (based on the max flood level attained), but  it did not. I visited a mate in Heron Crescent who had 1.6  metres  (guess) through last time (and this time it was 1inch) (might as well be 1 foot) (But no flyblown mud sludge carpet tiles to throw out this time,.. you beauty). So sill a 30 cm difference that does not make sense. We had the same 1.6ish level through the office in 1998 & nothing but bow waves this time.
Does this mean the Flood Committee hedged their bets or do they have better historical data predictions on what happens when & how with what level and flow rates and new railway bridges influence. (I've no doubt they do) If so maybe they should be a bit more forthcoming on the reasoning for predictions, because it still does not gel.

Telstra Chopper doing aerial sprays of water logged land to combat the threat of mozzies. (Maybe they will make enough money out of that contract  for me and others to get broadband out Florina Rd & then I could update website and be on phone at same time).

Levee?? (This moved to my "next time" suggestions page )

Wednesday 12Apr06

I saw a photo of Gringo today with his fridge in water inside his home & I realised how much these guys up Gorge road were left out of the loop.
I think it stems back to the proposed flood levels not being interesting enough in the early piece of the drama and then it was upon town & town was the focus. Sorry Guys!
And as per my suggestions there needs to be a bit more done instead of getting to a creek crossing and going "oh well hope insurance covers my car"