Safety of People in Flooded Streets and Floodways

Engineers Australia
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Proc. 8th National Conference on Hydraulics in Water Engineering, 2004, pp. 1 - 8
Issue Date:
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The safety of people on floodways or flooded streets is of major concern in urban stormwater design and floodplain management. Current design guidelines for safety on floodways (in Australia and overseas) are simplistic, generally given in terms of a critical value of Depth * Velocity (D*V) which has been based on limited laboratory testing. Cox and Ball (2001) updated the primal 1973 data for 6 children from Australia with tests of 3 adults from Japan. This paper incorporates further analysis of laboratory test data for adults from USA and Finland. The worldwide laboratory test data was found to be deficient in not testing very small/young children nor very frail/older persons. The authors have thus completed additional testing on 4 young children. A predictive model has been developed and proven against the test data for stability failure of human subjects. The commonly adopted guideline for designing floodways by specifying a critical Depth*Velocity (D*V) value of 0.4 m2s-1 does not ensure the safety of all children - young children with low muscular coordination (typified by Height*Mass values less than 20 mKg) are not safe at this criteria. It is most likely that many frail/older persons also may not be safe under this criteria.
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