Local Disaster Management Team chairman councillor Tony Williams talks about council preparations as TC Debbie approaches the north Queensland coast.
Local Disaster Management Team chairman councillor Tony Williams talks about council preparations as TC Debbie approaches the north Queensland coast. Chris Ison ROK270317cdebbie1

Cyclone Debbie: 9 things Rocky people need to know

MORE than 1500 people dumped their waste at the Rockhampton landfill over the weekend as Cyclone Debbie formed in the Coral Sea.

Rockhampton Water and Waste Committee chairman councillor Neil Fisher said the increased activity was proof locals had "learned the hard way” to prepare for disaster.

In a joint address to the media Cr Fisher, and Local Disaster Management Group chairman councillor Tony Williams shared to vital information locals had to know as TC Debbie approaches the northn Queensland coast.

1. HOME PREPARATION AND CLEAN UP

WITH 800 and 700 transactions respictively over Saturday and Sunday, Cr Fisher believes locals have learned the hard way to prepare for cyclones.

He urged residents check around their home to prevent dangerous debris, poorly directed stormwater and other potential hazards from impacting them or their neighbours.

"Even going around and collecting material in the yard, taking it to the landfill, looking at the trees and shrubs in your yard, (ask yourself) 'are some of those in a position where those could cause a problem?',” Cr Fisher said.

"Now is the time to prune those.

LATEST ON CYCLONE DEBBIE: FOLLOW THE TOPIC FOR EMAILED UPDATES

2. STORMWATER AND SEWERAGE:

PORTALOOS were delivered to homes on Baden Powell St last week during heavy rainfall.

Cr Fisher advised it only takes five rooftops to redirect their stormwater into a sewerage main to cause overflowing.

An inspection on south side homes last year found some homes had redirected all of their stormwater into a sewerage main, and Cr Fisher urged people check their pipes to ensure theirs didn't.

"Make sure your downpipes are not being redirected into sewage outlets as well, because all of that has an impact on other people.”

Cr Fisher stressed it only takes five roof areas to redirect their stormwater into a sewerage main to lead to overflowing, and urged people check their pipes.He noted council delivered portaloos to a number of homes on Baden Powell St during heavy rain last week because of this very reason.

3. MOZZIES

A SIDE effect of heavy rainfall is increased mosquito behaviour.

If you notice more aggressive mosquito behaviour, notify council's customer service or your divisional council so the area can be sprayed.

However, as ongoing rain hampers council's misting program they advise:

  • Use spray repellent that contains DEET;
  • Wear light coloured clothing (dark colours attract them);
  • Keep window and door screens closed;
  • Use mosquito coils or citronella candles
  • ;Empty out stagnant water from your yard eg. in wheelbarrows, pots 

"In your yard, while your checking stormwater, check for containers, old tyres or anything there that could be a breeding point for mosquitoes,” Cr Fisher said.

4. INFRASTRUCTURE

DEBRIS deflectors in the Frenchmans Creek catchment have already proven successful.

Cr Fisher said bridges which had "literally become dams” were holding up well against heavy rainfall, and is "quietly confident” council's flood mitigation works will hold up against potential future flooding.

"Since Marcia we have seen this infrastructure in place, if it does everything we have been told to do in theory that's one area that we shouldn't have any problems in the future.”

EARLIER: CYCLONE DEBBIE: 5 THINGS ROCKY PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW

AS Cyclone Debbie bears down on north Queensland, Rockhampton authorities are keeping a close watch on the potential local impact.

Chairman of the Local Disaster Management Group councillor Tony Williams earlier held a media conference during which he urged people to "be alert”.

Below are five key points from this morning's address.

1. EXPECTED LOCAL IMPACT:

THE Rockhampton Region Council area is on flood watch, but Cr Williams said it is too soon to know the full impact of Cyclone Debbie.

"At this stage because it is such a large catchment area, there are five rivers that flow into the one Fitzroy area,” he said.

"Deepening on where that rain eventuates and where it falls, it will be something we can't predict at this stage but we will be following as that cyclone crosses the coast and then turns into a rain depression.

"We will be monitoring how much rainfall is occurring because of that and that will give us an indication of what type of flooding, if we get any flooding, we will get from that.”

LATEST ON CYCLONE DEBBIE: FOLLOW THE TOPIC FOR EMAILED UPDATES

2. ROCKHAMPTON'S SUPPORT ROLE:

ERGON are already stationed at the Rockhampton Showgrounds as they prepare to be deployed further north.

Cr Williams said as Rockhampton was currently outside the "danger zone”, the region had become a "staging post” for the needs up north.

He said while we currently had enough emergency service personnel on the ground for our local needs, there may be some "resources sharing” over the coming days, which would be coordinated but the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services.

"The council has been asked to provide a staging point for the Ergon troops to really get ready, go through their inductions and head further north once the cyclones crossed to restore that power as soon as possible,” he said.

"It's something we have had other councils support us as we did with Tropical Cyclone Marcia not so long ago where they were in town to help restore the loss of electricity across the region.”

3. COUNCIL PREPARATIONS:

WHILE the week's forecast is subject to change, Cr Williams said showers in the ranges of 30-40mm are expected over the coming week, with a possible thunderstorm on Wednesday.

"Council is out there doing their drain inspections of our stormwater infrastructure, making sure they are clear of any debris but also just making sure any road closures there we are updating on our council website if there are any road closures there,” he said.

"And asking residents be mindful if the roads are flooded not to try and cross them, so heed that message, "if its flooded, forget it”, but just to make sure they are aware there could be some rain over the next week or so.”

4. DISASTER MANAGEMENT TEAM:

The local disaster management team are not activated at this stage, but are closely monitoring the situation.

"Once the cyclone has crossed the coast we will have another meeting tomorrow to assess the situation to see what we do from that level,” Cr Williams said.

"So again it will be dependant on where it tracks once it crosses the coast about where we go from there.. so it will be a progression as we work through the week to see where that rain has fallen and what the result of that will be.”

5. WARNING TO RESIDENTS:

Cr Williams said the word to residents is "be on alert” to the current and changing conditions and to keep an eye on the Bureau of Meteorology forecasting.

KEY EMERGENCY CONTACTS:

Local Disaster Coordination Centre (only operational in the event of a disaster): 1300 652 659

Police/Fire/Ambulance: Triple Zero (000)

State Emergency Service: 132 500

Ergon Energy (life threatening emergencies only): 000 or 13 16 70

Council - after hours emergency contact: 1300 225 577



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