Tropical Cyclone Jasper and Impacts to Douglas Shire

The place for TC Jasper event Information including impacts, response, recovery and updates.

 
 

Daintree Coast Road Update

Cape Tribulation Road & Cape Tribulation Bloomfield Road

Roads

Water

About the Event

Ex-Tropical Cyclone Jasper made landfall on December 13, 2023 but it was the associated weather event that followed which had devastating consequences for the Douglas Shire.

3.2 metres of rain was recorded in less than a week and a total of 4.2 metres in the space of two months.

The entire Shire was impacted with major flooding, landslips, overnight evacuations, homes destroyed, water infrastructure, and roads collapsing.

Response and Recovery

Douglas Shire Council has led the response and recovery efforts, standing up the Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG) for initial response and recovery. The LDMG consists of local and state agencies including Council, Queensland Police, Queensland Ambulance Service, Queensland Fire and Rescue Service, State Emergency Service, the Coastguard, Queensland Health and Tourism Port Douglas Daintree.

Refer to the timeline below to view the recovery and response actions undertaken.

The Landslips

While the immediate priority was preservation of life and delivering essential supplies to remote communities, the region was also facing some new and long-lasting challenges associated with more than 100 landslips.

The landslips hit our community hard on two fronts – roads and water.

Roads

What’s happened to the roads?

Tropical Cyclone Jasper made landfall as a Category 2, delivering the equivalent of two years of rain in just one week. This caused significant damage to Cape Tribulation Road and the Bloomfield Track.

Repair crews were on site 21 December 2023, and due to the extent of the damage, permanent repairs are estimated to take until at least the end of 2024.

Landslips blocked roads and isolated communities including Cape Tribulation and Degarra.

The management of these landslips has been incredibly complex, with tension fractures and wet season conditions causing further instability and the need for intensive monitoring, and unavoidable short notice closures.

What’s being done to manage the reopening of the roads?

Teams of experts have been able to secure key restoration sites along Cape Tribulation Road, including a nearly 60-metre high landslide at Noah Range, is providing a safe and trafficable road.

The landslip scars that remain on the Shire’s mountainous terrain remind both locals and visitors of what transpired in December 2023 but Council continues to look forward as the recovery from disaster continues.

Water

TC Jasper’s Impact

On 13 December 2023, TC Jasper made landfall with 4.2 metres of accumulated rainfall recorded in less than a week, causing over 100 landslips across the Shire.  The flooding and landslips caused blockages in the water catchments, breakages along the water pipeline network, and record high levels of turbidity (caused by excessive sediment and debris) in the water.

Why are the impacts ongoing?

The high turbidity affected the water treatment process by blocking filtration systems resulting in more frequent backwashing (cleaning) and longer treatment times. Periods of heavy rain following Jasper caused further debris and disruption from the landslips.  With sustained periods of high turbidity, water treatment plants cannot run at normal production rates, and we must change the process of how we treat, store and distribute water to our community.

Water conservation measures have a big impact

Water conservation measures are currently in place across Douglas Shire including water restrictions for all homes and businesses that use treated water. Work in the water treatment process and reticulation systems, together with infrastructure upgrades and water conservation efforts of the community, have made a significant impact. With these efforts reservoir levels have been maintained over recent periods of recent heavy rain, and we are seeing greater resilience across our water network.

What is the plan going forward?

Work is well progressed to replace the filter membranes in our treatment plants, to install a new pipeline between Mossman and Whyanbeel and to introduce temporary treatment plant at Whyanbeel which will help build resilience across our water network.  Longer term water security measures involving construction of additional intakes and water storage optimisation measures are being worked though with support of State Government.

Latest Updates

Public Notices

Notice of Tree Removal – Monday 27 May 2024

Council has planned for two trees to be removed this coming Monday 27 May 2024.…
General News

Douglas Shire National Reconciliation Week Program

National Reconciliation Week (NRW) is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared…
Current Vacancies

Labourer Biosecurity

This is an exciting opportunity to join our Biosecurity team. Our organisation offers excellent working…