A flood is the temporary, partial or complete inundation of land that is normally dry. Flooding can be caused by water that has escaped its natural confine due to heavy rain. Some floods develop slowly, while flash floods can develop in just a few minutes and without visible signs of rain.

 A flood warning is issued by the Bureau of Meteorology when flooding is occurring or expected to occur in a particular area. When flash flooding is expected, a severe weather warning is issued.

Drains, creeks or rivers which have had little or no water flow in previous months may fill rapidly with fast-flowing water, which can spread to houses and streets. The height of the water may not have been seen in the same location previously.

There may not have been significant rainfall in our region, however there may have been heavy rain throughout our catchment area, causing river levels to rise quickly. Water levels may also be heightened by high tides happening around the same time.

Before a Flood

  • Check the Burdekin Shire Council website, the Burdekin Shire Council Disaster Coordination Centre Facebook page and the Bureau of Meteorology website for information:
  • Hold a family meeting to prepare your household Emergency Plan so everyone knows what to do, where to meet and how to get out.
  • Prepare your Emergency and Evacuation Kits.
  • Clean up the yard. Clear away all loose material.
  • Move outdoor equipment, garbage, chemicals and poisons to a safe location.
  • Move livestock, pets, machinery, and animal feed to higher ground.
  • Identify how and where to turn off the mains supply for water, power and gas.
  • Disconnect electrical items.
  • Tie down sheds or other small structures not permanently fixed. Secure caravans, boats and vehicles or tie them together or to strong structures.
  • Sandbag areas at risk from flooding, such as doors and windows where possible.
  • Store potable water.
  • Put important documents such as photo albums up high in cupboards.
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed so food will stay cool without power for several hours.
  • Know your Evacuation Zone (storm tide) and evacuation routes.
  • Check neighbours, especially if elderly or recent arrivals.

During a Flood

  • Have a battery operated radio and tune in to your local radio station and heed warnings and advice.
  • Boil tap water in case of contamination.
  • Do not enter floodwaters – if it’s flooded forget it.
  • Never drive, walk, swim or play in floodwaters. Hazards could exist below the surface which you can’t see, regardless of how well you know the area. Water could be contaminated.

After Flood Waters Have Gone Down

  • Have a battery operated radio and tune into your local radio station and heed warnings and advice.
  • Know your evacuation routes.
  • If you have evacuated, don’t return home until officially advised it is safe and don’t panic. Wait until water has fallen below floor level to enter a house.
  • Don’t use electric appliances if wet.
  • Beware of damaged power lines, bridges and trees.
  • Do not enter floodwaters – if it’s flooded forget it.
  • Heed all warnings and don’t go sightseeing. Instead, check and offer help to neighbours, friends and family.
  • Don’t make unnecessary telephone calls.
  • Check whether electricity, gas or water supplies have been affected.
  • Wear rubber boots or rubber-soled shoes and rubber or leather gloves.
  • Watch for damaged flooring, walls and ceilings as well as unexpected visitors such as snakes.
  • Treat all items exposed to floodwater as contaminated.
  • Dispose of rubbish, wash mud, dirt and debris as soon as you can and wash hands thoroughly after handling anything that has been in contact with floodwater.
  • Follow any instructions for treating water and discard any food exposed to floodwater unless in airtight containers.

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