Kok Chuan

22 Qld towns hit by floods

THERE are now 22 towns and cities across Queensland substantially inundated by flooding or isolated because roads to these communities are cut.

This makes up an area the size of France and Germany combined and an area greater than the size of New South Wales.

State Disaster Coordinator, Deputy Commissioner Ian Stewart said that there have been over 900 houses evacuated across the state with many of those residents now being housed in evacuation centres.

“We encourage residents to ensure they have considered their evacuation plans,” Deputy Commissioner Stewart said.

Pet owners are also asked to arrange emergency accommodation for their pets in advance and make provisions for live stock that may need to be left behind on the property.

“Police are increasing their patrols of flood affected towns to ensure property is secure but thankfully, there have been no confirmed reports of looting,” Deputy Commissioner Stewart said.

“As residents return home we are starting to see items being laid out to dry in the sun, we want to remind the community that these are not discarded items and please respect peoples property,” he said.

EMQ Acting Assistant Director-General Warren Bridson praised the community spirit of the estimated 200 000 Queenslanders impacted by the flood disaster.

"There has been a fantastic amount of community spirit and resilience. We have seen untold examples of people helping strangers get to safety or just to cope with the day to day struggles they are facing. It has been a heart-warming effort by so many and, as a community, we are holding up well to this mammoth task.

"The community has responded so well and so have the SES volunteers from across the State. They are an amazing bunch of men and women who have dedicated their Christmas and holiday period to helping out others."

Mr Bridson urged residents in flood affected communities to take care when returning to homes which have been inundated.

"It will be a heartbreaking return to homes for a lot of Queenslanders but I urge them to be mindful that there are still some dangers to consider.

"They need to ensure their homes are structurally sound to return to and also that the electrical systems are checked by an electrician. There are also the risk of snakes and other wildlife and pests. Floodwaters have brought out many snakes and we ask that you take extra care when you are returning to your homes," he said.

For those communities where floodwaters have receded, residents should also heed the Queensland Health advice about cleaning up around their homes.

"If your house has been flooded, wear gloves and covered shoes when cleaning up, and treat any cuts with antiseptic. After cleaning the silt and debris from the floors and other surfaces, use disinfectant or bleach as well.

"Once the main water supply is back in operation, flush out all taps for five to 10 minutes to clear the pipes of sediment."

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