[Linux-aus] LCA Flood News

Russell Stuart russell-linuxaus at stuart.id.au
Wed Jan 12 14:09:48 EST 2011

There is a lot of concern flowing into our inboxes about the current
flooding around Brisbane.  Unfortunately is it is not clear what will
happen over the next few days, even to those of us who live here.
However we think it is best to give you what information we have, update
it as things become clearer.

Yesterday afternoon, we undertook a foot tour of the parts of the city
that will be used by the conference.  At that time none of it [1] was
effected, nor are any of our venues.  All public transport bar ferries
was running normally, and yes that does include the airport.  (Ferries
stop when there likelihood of debris in the river.)  The downpour that
caused the flood has now ceased, leaving a few scattered showers in its

That sounds like good news, but it isn't over yet.   Flood waters in the
hinterlands are now moving towards Brisbane.  The Bureau of Meteorology
[2] forecasts today will peak 1.5 meters higher over what we saw
yesterday.  From our tour we think this again will leave the city,
public transport and all venues unaffected. [3]

Tomorrow (Thursday), they expect the flood waters to rise again, peaking
at least 2.5 meters higher than yesterday.  From what we have seen this
will cause water to enter the car parks of our main venue. The car parks
levels are there because the buildings were designed with this
possibility in mind.  We don't anticipate this causing a problem for the
conference.  More of a concern is the electricity supply. Several
substations around the city (including one in those car parks) will be
submerged and as a consequence power is being progressively shut off to
the city. [4]  At this stage it seems unlikely any outage would last
long enough to effect the conference as electricity supply problems are
usually rectified rapidly once the cause has gone.

At its peak the water will also enter a few city streets.  This will not
effect us.  The one outside venue it may effect is the Maritime Museum,
which is where we currently plan to hold the Professional Delegates
Networking Session.  The museum building itself looks reasonably safe,
but the major exhibits (boats and ships, primarily) will be in the flood
waters.  We can't guess what the effects of a flood on a dry docked
ships will be.

That is about the limit of out knowledge as yesterday the city
effectively shut down, employers sending employees home to be with their
families.  This includes all staff at the University, and this has made
getting information on what is likely to happen on campus after the
flood passes impossible.  I imagine things will remain shut down until
the floods pass and electricity is restored. This should happen over the
weekend.  So by Monday it should be clear what effects, if any, the
flood will have on the conference.

We will keep you posted.  It would be a boost to morale and to our
spirits, and a beginning to a return to normality if people who made
plans to come to Brisbane stick to those plans, come to Brisbane, and
enjoy what we hope will still be the best community-driven linux conf

[1] There are some reports of water entering underground car parks
    in the city.

[2] http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/wrap_fwo.pl?IDQ20805.html

[3] This "it hasn't effected Brisbane yet" message may seem to
    conflict with the images appearing on TV.  Those images
    are from the Brisbane's hinterland and satellite cities.
    The predicted extent of the flooding in the CBD (which includes
    all our venues) can be seen here:
    (This is a mirror.  The official sites are groaning under the

[4] http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/environment/weather/up-to-100000-set-to-lose-power-20110111-19mn9.html

The LCA 2011 Team

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