Townships located on the lower Burnett River floodplain have been subjected to a number of moderate to large flood events that have adversely affected local residents, businesses, land owners and infrastructure.
The most recent of these flood events occurred in January 1942, February 1971, December 2010, January 2011, and most significantly in January 2013 when record rainfalls and flooding occurred across the region.
During the January 2013 event, flood depths of up to 3m and high flow velocities (up to 5m/s) were experienced in parts of North Bundaberg. Significant levels of flooding also occurred in East Bundaberg due to backwater inundation across the floodplain in areas adjacent to Saltwater and Bundaberg Creeks.
During the event, a large number of people were evacuated including approximately 5000 residents from North Bundaberg. In addition, the January 2013 flood resulted in a significant amount of flood damage including inundation of over 4000 homes, significant scour and scour-induced building damage, and widespread impacts to both public infrastructure (including bridges, roads, sewerage and water lines) and agricultural activities (sugar cane cropping, livestock, small crops and fishing).