Floodwatch is a community based flood monitoring and notification service developed by Steve Davis through his local web hosting business 123host.com.au. Want to have your website hosted by a local business? Need a smart website? Of course you do.

We download data from the Bureau of Meteorology, do a few nifty tricks to keep track of trends etc, build a graph and you get the benefits.

About the graph: the BOM has become a bit picky about people using their graphs. The data is freely available, but they block hotlinking to images (and graphs are actually just images). As of November 2021 I am now building the graph myself using chartist.js. A couple of things about it...I don't have a super computer so the horizontal axis dates are different spacings because the readings are not spaced evenly. The creek reads data more frequently when there is a lot of water. Just know that.

The way FloodWatch works is to send email and SMS messages to subscribers advising you when various monitored Gold Coast waterways flood. We are not particularly bothered by the road flooding, but it is bloody inconvenient if you don't know about it, especially if you are out and about and can't get home. This system should give 15 or 20 minutes warning (depending on how much rain).

Floodwatch will broadcast an alert when a waterway is rising and passes a nominated point i.e. it looks like it is going to flood. You then get to watch the information on the website and make your own decisions.

You're probably thinking "This must cost $$, who pays for it all?" Yes it does cost and I cover it personally. Each SMS costs me to send and each flood is about 320 messages minimum. It is my contribution to our community and until we have floods every week I don't mind the expense. Some people have shown their gratitude by making a donation, slinging me a bottle of (red) wine or something from their business. It is sincerely appreciated, but there is no obligation.

Any questions? Any suggestions? Want to know where to deliver the bottle of wine? Contact me.

Steve Davis

Has FloodWatch helped you out? A lot of time has been spent getting it right and it costs for every SMS sent.