In Tasmania, floods mainly occur in autumn, winter and spring. However, they can occur at any time of the year and some of the most significant floods have occurred in summer. In 2000, estimates were made that the annual flood damage bill averages about $5.2 million.
One river system that experiences serious flooding is the South Esk River. This, along with the Macquarie, Meander and the North Esk rivers, forms the Tamar River Basin, with a combined catchment area of nearly 9,000 square kilometres.
Minor floods in the Derwent, Forth and Mersey rivers do not occur with the same regularity as in the South Esk, because of the Hydro-Electric Corporation power generation storages. However, these storages have little effect during major floods. Record floods swamped New Norfolk in April 1960.
Many of the smaller river systems in the north and north-west, about the East Coast and the south-east are subject to flash flooding. The rapid rise and fall of these fast flowing systems can cause significant damage:
- The Hobart floods of April 1960 caused an estimated £546,000 damage.
River levels in the Huon River can also rise very quickly, particularly during spring when snowmelt can be significant. Flooding of rivers in the west and south of the state go largely unnoticed as they pass through rugged and sparsely populated regions.
The data in this map is provided for flood warnings purposes and not all data will be available outside flood periods. Some of this data is provided to the Bureau of Meteorology by other agencies.
- Flash floods about the south-east in February 1996 caused an estimated $10 million damage.