Set Phasers to Smite! #CitiesSkylines

Weather proves to be an ass


Only one problem living in a California type environment, when the storms roll in they roll in!

The recent storm is San Solarian City decided to cause all sorts of havoc for the City as these snaps would show:

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The resulting plantation fire kept the fleet of 15 fire helicopters rather busy while the fire engines dealt with other messes around the City.

Causalities were light but it was a pretty spectacular light show.


Some more pictures from afterwards:

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Those blimps are a sight to watch!


DISASTER! Layton City Surfs Two Tsunamis #CitiesSkylines

Disaster response management worked

Citizens are slow


Okay first lesson with the Tsunami, ONLY HIT THE BUTTON ONCE! The cool down timer and the arrival of the wave does take a long time as in towards six hours of game time being simulated. I accidentally hit the button twice and got a double tsunami which in real life does happen depending on the quake and amount of wave trains it generates.


Early Warning System works

As part of the IMEA (Imperial Management of Emergencies Agency) planning I had laid out a network of Tsunami buoys to detect any waves while deploying radio masts City-wide to give out early warning alerts.

A tsunami buoy


A large radio mast


Sure enough while I was checking out the City Centre as it was a weekend afternoon meaning LOTS of shoppers and tourists the buoys picked up a wave (well two) and the radio masts started sending out the alerts.



So I trigger the evacuation systems and you hear the wailing of sirens across the City alerting people to head to the bunkers – apparently.



People really didn’t start moving until the wave was beginning to break over the sea walls THEN people started moving. Remember I have capacity for 172,000 in a city of 242,000!


The double wave started its trip through the City Centre, Downtown, Airport and Newmarket before heading up one of the rivers meeting the wave from a second entrance.

The result? Surf’s up:

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Included is the disaster response which was extremely prompt with the choppers and later the trucks when the water cleared.


How far would the Tsunami go?

What I was interested to see and equally afraid of was how far would the wave travel up an estuary on one side and the west coast on the other. The estuary is a threat as it leads to the main industrial complex and both nuclear power stations that power the City. The western coast that feeds into another estuary leads to the main airport and to Manukau City Centre and its industrial complex.

The western coast got hammered and it wasnt until the wave met some canal walls that were part of the storm water drainage system did the wave’s reach begin to dissipate. As for the estuary the wave travelled up the waterway causing moderate flooding along the shore. The wave did manage to travel far enough upstream to have the wave reach one of the nuclear plants but only cause very minor flooding. The wave totally faded out before reaching the port while also dissipating well before it could hit Manukau.



The western side


The aftermath?

120,000 people were in the bunkers while 22,000 out of 242,000 were killed in the double Tsunami (9% loss). The City Centre and Downtown were hit but Newmarket which houses the leisure district was effectively wiped out.

The IMEA response teams were prompt and I was able to release the Citizens from the bunkers a short while later.

Infrastructure was hit with subway stations, power transmission, parks, emergency services and schools taken out but thanks to IMEA being fast restoration of those services was prompt.


The Rebuild

By morning the damage could be very easily seen. Newmarket looked like it had a bomb go through it while the City Centre and Downtown also took some damage mainly to infrastructure. The IMEA response units had been through all the infrastructure facilities meaning I could rebuild them very quickly. While with the urban development side about 85% had been seen too and could start rebuilding.

Priority was to get the crematoriums, fire stations and stations back open to avoid a secondary disaster and get the flow of goods and people moving fast.

Once they were built I went back to get everything else.



There were several factors that helped Layton City through a double Tsunami with 9% loss of lives. Yes we had the buoys, masts, bunkers and IMEA but things like the storm water infrastructure was able to pump out the flood waters very fast meaning water was not lingering.

The main industrial complex was never touched as wasn’t one of the nuclear power stations (the other was but very minor flooding that did not cause the reactors to SCRAM). The main water and sewer pumps were also not affected either so the emergency tanks were not needed this time around.

So with main power and water still available the City was able to function (although limited until the infrastructure was fixed) and the industrial complex providing materials for the rebuild.

Busses and heavy rail proved to be the most resilient in the disaster. Once the waves have swept through the busses began operating again straight away with freight and passenger trains not far behind. The subways and tram lines did need extensive rebuilds before they were operational again.

But it shows the resilience in transit modes especially after a disaster. The busses and trains were able to move thousands of evacuated people back home (unless their home was destroyed and a night in the bunkers) while freight trains moved goods and materials to their cargo hubs as part of the rebuild effort.




Already people are moving back and homes and businesses will be rebuilt. Layton City did extremely well with the disaster and its subsequent response. But heck citizens were slow to the bunkers. Next time let’s try to get a few more people there.


#CitiesSkylines Natural Disasters Disaster

New tier of management and Planning


After spending a few days tracking down the mod causing the game to crash (was the Rush Hour mod which is being updated) I loaded both Neo Layton City (as a test) and Layton City (current city) to give Cities Skylines Natural Disasters a whirl.



Takes Civil Defence to a whole new level. I say new level as I have the Rainfall Mod that simulates actual storms, lightning, flooding and storm water systems. Given Layton City is on flat land the gravity system is a tad useless without pumps to force the water along. It also means flooding where I have not yet placed the pumps.

So with the Rainfall Mod I get not only flooding (the new vacuum trucks do a good job removing flood waters) the lightning now triggers off sodding forest fires (the Lightning Rod policy is enabled so rare for a building to catch fire) and that is before I even manually trigger off a severe storm in the disasters tab. And with Layton City a green city (lots and lots of urban forests) that means rolling out the Weather Radar, watch towers, and fire helicopter bases pretty much straight away.


Otherwise for everything else it comes down to planning and management. So what needed to be rolled out:

  • Radio masts to send out civil defence warnings
  • Disaster Response Building for search and rescue, and cleaning of rubble
  • Vacuum pump depot that sends out trucks to suck up flood waters then return to the depot to discharge that water into the sewerage system
  • Water storage tanks to store water in case demand exceeds supply for a wee bit or a freshwater pump is disabled for whatever reason
  • Freshwater outlet – okay this one is a tad useless
  • Fire helicopter base for those choppers with monsoon buckets
  • Police helicopter base for the Eagle in the sky
  • Medical helicopter base for airlifting the injured especially when roads are cut off
  • Space Radar (you can figure that one out)
  • Earthquake monitors (I do have hills in the background of the city)
  • Tsunami buoys given the City Centre and Downtown are exposed fully to the coast
  • Bunkers (either 1,000 or 10,000 capacity) for when your home was munted and needing a place to stay until the rebuild OR trying to outrun that tornado


Establishing the watch towers, buoys, earthquake sensors, radio masts and radars is pretty straight forward. Everything else for a city (236,000) the size of Layton City actual management gets very tricky very fast.

So the strategy is to establish three (two are set up so far) Imperial Emergency Management Centres (think FEMA) where the respective helicopter bases, Disaster Response Building and four 10,000 bunkers that act as centralised Civil Defence points. This gives me emergency capacity for 120,000 or half the city. Add in another couple of large bunkers out the inland fringes (Manukau and Lynch Heights ) and some smaller bunkers near major tourist points along the coast prone to the Tsunami and about 70% of the City is covered (bunkers can deploy evacuation busses along set routes to pick up citizens).

That leaves the pesky forest fires which needed a few more fire helicopter bases deployed City wide. Thankfully rivers, the two harbours and canals are scattered over the City so getting water is not an issue for the choppers.


Am I ready for a disaster? Who knows as limited experience with forest fires triggered by the Rainfall mod have been dealt with little losses to the urban areas. The one where the City would be most exposed is a Tsunami given Layton City is exposed to the ocean and is flat apart from a small area up in the hills where ore is mined. It would be a case how much time does the early warning system give to evacuate the City Centre, Newmarket and Downtown before the wave hits. The bunker facilities are limited in those three districts with a main IMEA centre further back inland.


None the less once the Network Extensions Mod is fixed allowing me to trigger disasters manually I will post pictures of the carnage and rebuild.


Meantime a forest fire from Neo Layton City and an IMEA Centre in Layton City:



Layton City Flooded #CitiesSkylines

City suffers from first major flood


If you have the Rainfall Mod for Cities Skylines what was just cosmetic rain for visual effects now gives real consequences depending how much falls into your City.

This means you have to build a storm water system so that the rain can drain away from your city unless you want the water pooling up after every shower. So you have your inlets for the surface water which drains into the pipes. From there it has to be disposed through one of three options:

  1. Detention Basins (soak holes that allow the rain to soak into the ground)
  2. Gravity outlets (speaks for itself when discharging water in waterways)
  3. Storm pumps (electric-powered pumps that discharge water into waterways meaning gravity is not an issue proving you have power)


I run a two tiered drainage system where storm water is first collected via the inlets into the detention basins scattered throughout the City. Once the basins hit 80% full the storm pumps kick in forcing water out and into the waterways either being a river, harbour or the canal system built-in Layton City.


The Rainfall Mod is set to the south-west Pacific which means it mimics Auckland’s weather. Providing the rain intensity does not go above 4.0mm/hour Layton City’s storm water system handles the rain events very well with localised pooling in a few dips and troughs.

However, a 1-in-100 rain event finally happened where the rain intensity hit 4.6mm/hour. In other words the game threw cats, dogs, monkeys and several kitchen sinks worth of rain in a very short time. For the first time we had city-wide flooding as well as the canal system running in flood mode.


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The white flood bubbles mean the area is flooding. This always happens in any rain event and will not disrupt the City. It is when you get the red flood bubble that the area is flooded and services become disrupted.

As I said earlier the system is designed to handle intensities of up to 4.0mm/h without overwhelming the inlets (and not all the pumps going into operation). But in this storm event pictured above we had hit 4.6mm/hour for three of the eight hours the storm occurred.



By the end of the third hour of the most intense rainfall all the storm water pumps were actively discharging the water into the canals and the river. And while the river coped the canal for the first time breached its walls (with all those pumps discharging water into it) and had started running up the flood walls either side. The flood waters reached up about 20% of the wall height so there was still capacity spare through the emergency flood systems.

As for the City around 33% of the City was under the red flood bubbles meaning the areas were under water disrupting services and forcing evacuation (citizens abandon the building). Simply put the inlets could not cope with the intensity of rain with 2,500 people “evacuated” out the City. Once the storm had settled back down it took another two hours for the flood waters to clear and the canals to settle (as you need the pumps to stop discharging). The evacuees came back and everything returned to normal not long after all.


In the end it was a very sobering exercise watching the City struggle with a 1 in 100 year storm event. Some more inlets will need to be built as well as a few more detention basins to help handle the flows. However, the emergency systems worked well with the canal system handling the floodwaters within expectations. Because if the canals had failed more than 33% of the City would have been a lake!