CQ bracing for floodwaters
CENTRAL Queenslanders are being warned to prepare for floods this weekend.
Emergency Management Queensland issued advice yesterday amid predictions of heavy rainfall after two cyclones formed off the coast in the past week.
EMQ’s regional director Robbie Medlin said he needed people to appreciate that there was potential for some communities to become isolated by rising waters and that households should make sure they had enough food, water, medication and baby supplies to last for a couple of days.
And the Bureau of Meteorology warned that some areas could expect up to 200mm over the latter part of the weekend.
“Tropical low pressure systems are associated with cyclones but even if a cyclone does not occur the weather system will often bring substantial rain which can lead to prolonged flooding,” Mr Medlin said.
“During last year’s Ingham floods people were told the town would be inundated in two days and that they needed to stock up on critical supplies such as water, non-perishable foods, medications and baby supplies.
“But many people didn’t. They didn’t appreciate how isolated they would become, even though they lived in or close to town.
“We need people to understand that when you are isolated by a flood you may not be able to get to the shops for a number of days. People need to have supplies for a couple of days.
“Many remote properties in western Queensland are isolated by flooding for long periods every year and those people are prepared for it. We want people living in and around towns to be prepared also,” Mr Medlin said.
Rockhampton flood victim Rachel Hillier, who was forced to abandon her Depot Hill home twice in 2008, said yesterday she was glad of the warning.
“I was on alert after the heavy rain we had at Christmas because this is one of the first houses affected when the river gets up,” she said.
“The only precaution we can take is to get stuff to higher ground, but when it comes there’s nothing we can do except leave. At least we get some warning because we can see the waters rising in the paddocks that surround the house.”
Mr Medlin said people should prepare emergency kits in advance and listen to local radio for flooding information during the event, but there were other things to consider if your property was threatened by flood.
“Any garbage, chemicals and poisons in the house, garage or shed need to be moved to higher ground so there is no chance of these agents entering the waterways.
“Also consider moving vehicles to higher ground.”
Mr Medlin said people needed to plan in advance which indoor items would need to be raised if the house was threatened, and should unplug electrical items.
Rockhampton weather forecaster Mike Marrinan said if a tropical low continued to develop and move as predicted he expected moderate to heavy downpours in the Fitzroy River catchment, Central Highlands and Capricornia, possibly as early as Saturday night into Sunday.
“Over a period of days it would not be unrealistic to expect 100mm to 200mm in some areas,” he said.
“There’s a high probability we will get a soaking late in the weekend and into next week.”
Rains could well be accompanied by damaging gusts of wind, he said.