2011 December Edith River flood event

These pages have all data and metadata held by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources relevant to the December 2011 Fergusson River Catchment event associated with Tropical Cyclone Grant.

There is a description of the event in hydrographic terms and the impact of the event on the Department of Natural Resources, Environment, the Arts and Sport and Infrastructure.

Data provided is considered raw, invalidated and uncorrected.

In December 2011 Cyclone Grant brought record flows to the Fergusson River Catchment that includes the tributaries of the Cullen River and Edith River.

There were four river gauging stations in the catchment located on the Cullen River, Edith River and two on the Fergusson River, as shown on the map.

Due to the large scale of the event, all four stations were damaged, but continued recording throughout the event.

December 2011 Fergusson River Catchment event associated with Tropical Cyclone Grant

Fergusson River at Railway Bridge

This river gauge site is located on the Railway Bridge at the Fergusson River, on the Stuart Highway 58km north of Katherine.

It was built in 1957 for stage frequency studies and general hydrographic information of water resources in the Northern Territory.

Hydrographic event details

Peak measured on logger = 14.884m 06:40 27/12/2011

Fergusson River - flood graph 

Location Historic Record
Prior Dec 2011
Record Event
From Dec 2011
Flow Metadata
G8140008 Fergusson Stage / Flow / Rainfall (2.6 mb) Stage / Flow (47.9 kb) From 01/09/1981 (34.5 kb)

Flood mark in tower = 15.191m
Flood mark upstream side of rail bridge = 15.931m
Flood mark downstream side of railbridge = 15.045m

Damage during the event

This site had the gauge range wiped out. There is now one gauge board at the bottom of the gauge range and another three quarters of the way up the gauge range.

The weir has also been eroded around the edge on the left bank.

Most of the gauge range are missing as a result of the event.
Most of the gauge range are missing as a result of the event.

Debris caught under the road bridge around the abutment.
Debris caught under the road bridge around the abutment.

The tower on the downstream side of the rail bridge. The flood mark left in the tower was 334 mm above the base plate in the green cabinet.
The tower on the downstream side of the rail bridge. The flood mark left in the tower was 334 mm above the base plate in the green cabinet.

Cullen River at Railway Bridge

The gauging station was established in September 2004 on behalf of Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Environment, who requested an installation that provided a rising river warning. The Stuart Highway bridge over the Cullen River has a deck value of 6.2m to a local gauge datum (GD) and the railway bridge having a deck value of 11.5m.

At this stage, all data is considered raw, invalidated and uncorrected.

Hydrographic event details

Peak measured on logger = 9.55m 07:40 27/12/2011

Cullen River - flood graph 

Data: CSV File (41.5 kb) | MS Excel File (112.5 kb) | More Data from the Water Data Portal

Note: this site is not rated therefore no flow information is available for this site.
Flood mark upstream side of rail bridge = 10.116 m
Flood mark downstream side of rail bridge = 9.213 m

Damage during the event

This site had the orifice line destroyed as the right bank was eroded away.

The gauging station is located close to the top of the railway abutment.
The gauging station is located close to the top of the railway abutment.

Flood marks in the base of the gauging station.
Flood marks in the base of the gauging station.

The line of trees alongside the railway bridge abutment on the other of which the orifice line used to measure the water level.
The line of trees alongside the railway bridge abutment on the other of which the orifice line used to measure the water level.

The end of the orifice at the point of measurement after the flood. The orifice line was left floating on top of the water.
The end of the orifice at the point of measurement after the flood. The orifice line was left floating on top of the water.

Edith River

The gauging station is located at the Edith River, 5km upstream of the Stuart Highway and 37km northwest of Katherine. 

The site was established in 1962 to collect data for a proposed dam site and part of a program to investigate the water resources in the Northern Territory.

The catchment area for the site is 671 square kilometres.

Hydrographic event details

Peak measured on logger = 9.454m 03:00 27/12/2011

Edith River - flood graph 

Location Historic Record
Prior Dec 2011
Flood Event
From Dec 2011
Flow Metadata
G8140152 Edith Stage / Flow / Rainfall (1.9 mb) Stage / Flow (57.7 kb) From 23/11/1997 (29.5 kb)

Flood marks = 9.789m

Concrete slab base of hut= 10.563m

Damage during the event

The orifice line has nearly been totally destroyed.

The guage boards in the middle of the guage range have also been knocked over.

The orifice line once ran in a straight line from the instrument hut to the point of measurement in the river.
The orifice line once ran in a straight line from the instrument hut to the point of measurement in the river.

Orifice line has been pulled away from the hut.
Orifice line has been pulled away from the hut.

Gauge boards knocked over during the event.
Gauge boards knocked over during the event.

Fergusson River upstream of Bondi Creek

This site is 3.4km by river downstream of the Edith River junction, or 35km downstream of the Stuart Highway bridge. 

It was established in September 2000 as part of the Department of Land Resource Management's Flood Warning Telemetry Network, providing near real time river height and rainfall data. 

Hydrographic event details

Peak measure on logger = 18.600m 14:00 27/12/2011

Fergusson River upstream of Bondi Creek - flood graph 

Location Historic record before December 2011 Flood event from December 2011 Flow metadata
G8140157 Fergusson Stage / flow / rainfall (997.3 kb) Stage / flow / rainfall (39.0 kb) From 01/03/2000 (33.5 kb)

Damage during the event

This site suffered a lot of damage to the gauging station hut. The upstream side of the shed was pushed in from the flood waters.

Gas bottles were knocked over from where they were mounted.

The dry bubble went under water and needs to be replaced, as well as the 2100 sensor.

The orifice line is now exposed in several locations and the line itself has a bad blockage.

Upstream side of the gauging station. The wall has been pushed in and the hut filled with debris.
Upstream side of the gauging station. The wall has been pushed in and the hut filled with debris.

A close up view of the hut and the underside of the floor which was full of debris.
A close up view of the hut and the underside of the floor which was full of debris.

Inside the hut. The gas bottles have broken free from their moorings.
Inside the hut. The gas bottles have broken free from their moorings.

Last updated: 12 October 2017