As the Fitzroy River surged to a historic high, the residents of Berserker, a suburb of Rockhampton, found reassurance behind the Geodesign Flood Barrier. This temporary levee system has been pivotal in the city's defense against the floodwaters, which threatened to submerge thousands of homes and businesses.
With the river's peak projected to reach the 9.5-meter mark, the community braced for the possibility of a flood reminiscent of the one in 1954. However, the strategic placement of the Geodesign Barrier in Berserker has proven to be a game-changer, effectively holding back the floodwaters and keeping the protected side dry, with only minimal seepage that was efficiently managed by the stormwater system.
7 News reporter Patrick Condren reports from the front lines of Rockhampton's flood defense in Berserker, detailing the crucial role of the Geodesign Barrier. With the Fitzroy River's waters rising, witness Condren's account of the barrier's strength and the calm it brings to the protected side.
From the dry side of the barrier in Berserker, local reporter Patrick Condren described a scene of calm preparedness. The steel-plated levee, reinforced with sturdy struts, stood as a bulwark between the rising river and the residential areas it was designed to protect.
"As you can see, it's pretty dry on this side,"
Condren reported, highlighting the dry conditions behind the barrier where homes stood safeguarded.
The corner of Ellis and Rodboro Streets in Berserker stands guarded by the Geodesign Flood Barrier, a preemptive measure to protect the homes of Rockhampton's north side. With the Fitzroy River predicted to crest at 9 metres following ex-cyclone Debbie, the community watches and waits.
The barrier's success in Berserker was a reflection of the community's spirit and resilience. Business owner Grant Cassidy conveyed a message of resilience, noting that despite the high alert, it was business as usual for most. "Around about 10% of Rocky will be affected by this directly. But for a lot of us, we have to keep our businesses open," Cassidy remarked, emphasizing the community's commitment to economic continuity.
Rockhampton's approach to the looming flood was proactive and strategic. Emergency services were on hand, and residents in flood-prone areas, particularly in Berserker, were evacuated well ahead of time. The temporary levee system, a measure proven during previous floods in other regions, was quickly put into place, showcasing Rockhampton's ability to adapt and apply historical lessons to current threats.
Harold and Dorris Chambers, pictured at their home in Rockhampton, which remained dry and secure behind the Geodesign Flood Barrier. (Image from ABC News)
As the waters of the Fitzroy River start to recede, the citizens of Berserker and the wider Rockhampton area can take stock of their fortitude and the efficacy of their flood defenses. The Geodesign Flood Barrier not only stood resolute, safeguarding homes and businesses but also served as a beacon of a community's resolve to withstand the unpredictability of nature. The city now turns its attention to recovery, with the knowledge that their defenses have passed a significant test.
Two Rockhampton residents walk alongside the Geodesign Flood Barrier, curiously inspecting the town's primary defense under a cloudless sky, as the community braces for the impending flood.