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North Queensland braces for prolonged rainfall

22/01/2013

Heavy and prolonged rainfall expected for the coastal and inland parts of the State, as far south as Rockhampton, has prompted a safety-first plea from Emergency Management Queensland (EMQ) and the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service (QFRS).

EMQ Assistant Director-General Bruce Grady said the crossing of Ex-Tropical Cyclone Oswald had resulted in a monsoonal trough moving towards the east to north-east of the State before potentially tracking south.

“With the far north already saturated, this slow-moving system has the potential to cause flooding across the northern and central parts of the State, which makes it vital affected residents keep their wits about them over the coming days,” Mr Grady said.

“Residents in flood-prone areas must ensure they have the essential supplies needed, such as a well-stocked emergency kit and food supplies, should they become isolated.

“While the State Emergency Service (SES) is on-hand people must remember they are volunteers giving up their time to help others so it is vital you help them by preparing yourself.”

QFRS Commissioner Lee Johnson said while swift water rescue technicians had been put on alert across the northern parts of the State, it was important people remembered ‘If it’s flooded, forget it’.

“Over the coming days, it is likely the prolonged rainfall will result in causeways becoming submerged by floodwaters, increasing the chance of swift water rescues,” Mr Johnson said.

“Swift water rescues are mostly preventable and there is no excuse for people who deliberately ignore road closed signs or the direction of emergency authorities and drive through floodwaters.

“The vision from weather events in recent years should be a reminder for everyone that they are not invincible, floodwater is deceiving and while it may look shallow, the chance of making it through is slim.

“Seconds count in a swift water rescue situation and while time-after-time firefighters will do what they can to assist, their lives are also put at risk as a result of carelessness.

“Parents must also take the time to educate children on the dangers of playing in swollen creeks, dams, drains and causeways.”

If residents require storm and flood assistance they should call the State Emergency Service (SES) on 132 500 and in a life-threatening emergency always call triple zero (000).


Contact for media enquiries: DCS media unit on (07) 3635 3310.


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