Riverine flooding information for Hobart Rivulet and its tributaries.
Draft – please email any comments to email@example.com by 30 January 2023.
Parts of South Hobart is subject to flooding from the Hobart Rivulet. You are likely to experience a flood of this size at least once in your lifetime.
Like most of Hobart, South Hobart prone to flash flooding so there is often very little warning. As well as riverine flooding, there is also likely to be stormwater run-off. This can be difficult to predict. Flooding in Hobart Rivulet likely to isolate parts of South Hobart for up to 6 hours, depending on the rainfall across Kunanyi/ Mount Wellington.
Even if your home is not inundated, you should be prepared for isolation plus potential power and telecommunications outages, and limit travel until roads are clear and safe. In a major flooding event such as this, roads in and around Hobart are likely to be cut as other areas of Hobart are inundated. Traffic is likely to be congested around the city. If you are safe at home or elsewhere, it is usually best you stay where you are until the flooding subsides, unless there is an emergency. If you need to evacuate, you should leave early, before flood waters rise.
Go to tasalert.com.au or listen to ABC local radio 936AM for warnings and advice.
Are you at risk of flood?
Example past flooding events around South Hobart include:
- The Southern Tasmanian Extreme Weather Event on 11 May 2018 caused flooding around Hobart, including South Hobart. The Bureau of Meteorology recorded 236mm of rain on Kunanyi/ Mount Wellington. In South Hobart several houses along DeGraves Street became flooded and the event damaged parts of the Female Factory. There was widespread damage.
- 20-23 April 1960 about 200mm of rain over 3 days damaged buildings along the Rivulet.
- 1947 June 5 and 16-18 flooding in southern Tasmania impacted South Hobart.
What should I do?
- Check the map to see whether your home or business could flood.
- Assess your home or business and prepare it to minimise possible flood damage.
- Check if you can safely get to your home, work, or school during a flood.
- Prepare a Home Emergency Plan.
- If you will be isolated and you must have access to services, you may need to evacuate early.
Floods like the one shown in the map or worse will occur again. No two floods are the same.
If you live in a low-lying area or near a watercourse, your house may flood. Even if your home is safe, you may need to detour around flooded areas or your road access may be cut. Never drive into or enter flood waters. Roads and bridges may be washed out or unsafe. Avoid travel during floods.
Knowing what to do can save your life and help protect your property. Having a Home Emergency Plan is one of the best ways to prepare. Decide on weather and rainfall triggers for when to act.
To see map information in more detail, go to the Hobart City Council’s website.
Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) Forecasts, Warnings, and Observations
BoM issues a Flood Warning, Severe Weather Warning and/or Thunderstorm Warning for heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding whenever heavy rain is expected in an area. The time between the warning and heavy rain occurring can vary from an hour to 24 hours or more.
Rainfall Observations on Kunanyi/ Mount Wellington can help predict potential flooding in South Hobart, however, the warning times are very short. Hobart’s waterways are prone to flash flooding. Glenorchy, Hobart and Kingborough Councils have an interlinked flood warning system as they have similar flash-flooding risks leading to less timely flood warnings, alerts and response. Given the very short warning times, you are encouraged to act on the predictive BoM warnings rather than wait for any alerts during rainfall.
The Mt Koonya Radar is useful to be aware in real-time where heavy rainfall is falling. Radar Rainfall estimates can also fill in gaps in areas where there are no rainfall stations.
Flood Warnings are expressed as Minor, Moderate, or Major.
Flood levels in South Hobart
While no two floods are the same, the following table shows what you can expect at different flood levels around South Hobart. Even if your property is not flooded, you need to think about access. The example rainfall to cause such an event is an example: other levels of rainfall can cause flooding depending on its intensity, duration and how wet the ground is beforehand and where the rain falls.
A Minor Flood (less than 20% chance of happening in a year (AEP)
- For example 40mm in 6 hours around Hobart.
- Backyards in Degraves St and Syme St may be inundated, as could properties near the Rivulet, such as at the lower ends of Weld St, Wynyard St.
- Flood water may cover low-lying areas along Hobart Rivulet, including parts of the Hobart Rivulet walking track.
A Moderate Flood (from a 20% and below a 1% chance of happening in a year)
- For example 40-65mm in 6 hours.
- Flood water may enter some houses along Degraves St and Symes St, other properties in the area become isolated.
- Parts of South Hobart Primary School grounds maybe flooded (until planned flood mitigation works).
- It may be difficult crossing the Rivulet in some places. C3 church/ conference centre/ child care may become isolated.
A Major Flood (a 1% chance or less of happening in a year in the current climate)
- For example 66 mm in 6 hours or more.
- Degraves St/ Symes St plus C3 church/ conference centre/ child care at end of Anglesea St at risk of major flooding.
- Some parts of Strickland Ave/ Cascade Rd/ Macquarie St inundated and some houses may flood isolating areas such as Strickland Ave/ Marlyn Rd and surrounding streets, Macquarie St and surrounds between Glen St/ Darcy St and Anglesea St, including St Michaels Collegiate, access to South Hobart Primary School.
Know your risk, get ready, reduce risk where you can, connect with others, stay alert and act safe.
Before a flood
1. Know your risk
Flooding often happens in Tasmania and can cause widespread and significant damage. In the past 200 years there have been 78 flood related deaths in Tasmania. This guide is to help you understand flood risk in your area.
2. Prepare your household
Have an emergency plan that covers storms and floods
Thinking about what you would do in a storm or flood means you are more prepared and everyone is safer. Have an emergency plan that everyone in your household understands. There are checklists to help you think through your plan – see the SES website or Red Cross Rediplan.
Check your plan regularly and test it by everyone in the household thinking through a flooding scenario that may affect your household.
Prepare an Emergency Kit
Ready to Go
Battery powered radio and torch, spare batteries
Important information, such as your emergency plan
A list of emergency numbers
Food and water
First aid kit
Rubber or strong leather gloves
Pack when needed
Warm clothes, sturdy shoes or boots
Medicine, glasses or other essential items
Mobile phone and phone charger
Pet food and anything else they need
Photos and special keepsakes
Important documents, for example
– insurance papers
– passports and
– birth certificates
Regularly test batteries in radios and torches.
3. Reduce your risk from flooding where you can
- Think about storms, flooding and other hazards when buying, maintaining or developing property.
- Trim or remove trees and branches overhanging your home, business or near powerlines on your property.
- Keep your gutters and drains clear.
4. Connect with others
Know your neighbours and get involved in your community. A connected community is a safer and more resilient community in an emergency and can help everyone recover better afterwards. Check that family and neighbours are safe and aware of what’s happening.
5. Keep up to date
Keep aware of what is happening around you. Check forecasts, observations and warnings regularly.
Understand the warnings and key information
|Advice (Yellow): an incident has started. There is no immediate danger. Stay up to date in case the situation changes.|
|Watch and Act (Orange): There is a heightened level of threat. Conditions are changing and you need to start taking action now to protect you and your family|
|Emergency Warning (Red): An Emergency Warning is the highest level of warning. You may be in danger and need to take action immediately. Any delay now puts your life at risk.|
|Community update (Blue): Specific information and updates for affected communities regarding a particular event or incident.|
|Incident (White): an incident is the initial occurrence of an event before it becomes an emergency warning. As soon as an incident is reported, TasALERT published basic information including the type and location of incident.|
6. Act Safe
- Supervise children.
- Prepare for possible power, water or internet outages.
- Check your emergency kit is ready to go.
- Keep clear of flooded areas such as drains. NEVER walk, play, ride or drive in floodwater. You can’t always see what is under the water or how deep or fast-moving the water is. It is easy to be swept away and drown in as little as 20cm of fast-moving water. Flood water can be dangerous.
When your home may be flooded
- Put household items up high to minimise possible damage.
- Turn off the electricity and gas if it is safe to do so.
- A great way to stop sewerage flowing back into your home is to place sandbags inside plastic bags and use them to block toilets and cover drains and sinks.
- Leave while you can get out safely.
If you need to evacuate
- Follow the advice from SES / Tasmania Police.
- Take your emergency kit.
- Go to friends or family in a safer place or an evacuation centre.
- Let others know where you have gone.
Look after your animals
You are responsible for your animals in an emergency. If you have pets and other animals it will take you longer to evacuate in a flood or other emergency. Move livestock from flood prone areas well before flood waters may rise. For more information see
- RSPCA’s guidance on preparing for animals in an emergency
- Huon Valley Council’s advice on preparing an emergency pet plan
- the Primary producer farm flood readiness toolkit
Avoid travelling during and after storms
- Do not go sightseeing. Sightseers delay emergency services and cause accidents.
- Watch out for hazards such as
- water over roads
- damaged powerlines
- damaged roads
- falling trees or roofing iron.
- Never drive through flood waters. Most deaths and rescues in floods are from people driving through flood waters.
- Drive slowly and turn your headlights on roads not affected by flood waters.
- Keep listening for ABC Local Radio updates, road re-openings, community meetings, etc.
- If you left your home, do not return home until SES or Tasmania Police tell you it is safe to do so.
- Be aware of road hazards, such as mud or debris on the road, damaged roads/bridges and crews working on clean-up and repairs.
If your home has been damaged
- Stay at ground level while checking for damage. Be careful of fallen trees, broken glass, loose roofing or other hazards.
- Wear strong boots, gloves and protective clothes.
- Use a torch, never use matches or candles inside flood affected buildings.
- Boil all drinking water until you are told the tap water is safe again.
- Do not turn on it is tested by a licensed electrician or gas fitter for safety.
- If your home is damaged and you need to stay somewhere else, take your emergency kit and pets with you
- Take photos of any damage if safe for you to do so and contact your insurance company.
- Supervise children.
- Check neighbours are okay.
For further information go to www.ses.tas.gov.au
Staying informed and further information
Current warnings (TasAlerts) alerts.tas.gov.au
Bureau of Meteorology bom.gov.au/tas/warnings
Emergency Broadcasters ABC 936AM
TAS SES Social Media
Hobart City Council ph 62382711