The nature of flooding

Learn about the types of flood events that occur in the Sunshine Coast region.

The nature of flooding

The Sunshine Coast’s idyllic, sub-tropical climate also brings with it periods of prolonged and intense rainfall, severe storms, monsoonal rain, tropical cyclones and storm tides. All of these factors contribute to the likelihood of flooding. There are three main types of flooding that affect the region.

Flash flooding

Flash flooding is generally defined as flooding that occurs within six hours of intense rainfall occurring. Flash flooding can occur in one of two ways:

  • localised flooding relating to difficulties in drainage
  • creek flooding.

Localised flooding

Localised flooding occurs when part of the storm water drainage system is blocked or capacity is exceeded.

Possible effects include water damage to property and home and contents, backyard/front yard flooding and localised road flooding.

Liability for damages may apply if building on, filling or not maintaining a property increases flooding impacts on a neighbouring property.

Creek flooding

Creek flooding is the result of intense localised rainfall and can occur in both undulating coastal and hinterland regions.

Often occurring with little warning time, creek flooding can pose a significant risk to life and property, with fast flowing water and little time to respond to the rising water levels.

River flooding

River flooding results from widespread and prolonged rainfall over a major river's catchment area.

Predominantly affecting the coastal floodplains, floods may last a couple of days to several weeks and represent a major impact on life and property.

The time a flood peak arrives and the duration of flooding is defined by the area and slope of the river catchment as well as the length of the river.

Council has prepared flood information maps that show areas possibly impacted by river flooding.

Storm tide flooding

Storm tides are associated with tropical storms and cyclones. Storm tide flooding comes from the ocean and is a result of combined high tides and heavy seas.

Storm tides often coincide with periods of intense and prolonged rainfall and can impact on existing swollen river systems and low lying coastal areas. Storm tides can increase the severity, extent and length of any simultaneous river and creek flooding.

Council has prepared flood information maps that show areas possibly impacted by storm tide flooding.