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Coastal Queensland communities to prepare for severe weather

18/02/2013

Coastal communities across Queensland should finalise their safety preparations as the State braces for more heavy rainfall today and tomorrow.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) is predicting that a low pressure system, currently located around the central coast, will result in heavy rain and gale force winds from Burnett Heads south to the New South Wales border.

Minister for Police and Community Safety Jack Dempsey said while it was expected this weather system would move quickly and remain offshore, the intense rainfall combined with already saturated grounds, could result in some localised flooding.

“Residents need to be prepared for heavy and isolated rainfall across the coast and into the hinterland areas, wind speeds up to 90km/hr and dangerous surf conditions, with possible beach erosion, which will include the northern parts of Moreton Island,” Mr Dempsey said.

“While it is anticipated this weather event will not be as serious as those recently experienced, people should not be complacent and should take the necessary steps to prepare their homes, their families and themselves.”

Emergency Management Queensland (EMQ) Assistant Director-General Bruce Grady said people should stay informed by tuning into your local radio and monitoring the BoM website for the latest information.

“Check your house, in particular the roof, is in good condition, trim branches clear of the house, clean gutters, clear your property of debris and secure loose outdoor items,” Mr Grady said.

“Also ensure your emergency kit is well-stocked, with essential items, and is kept close by.

“If you are located in an area which could potentially be impacted by localised flooding, move vehicles, outdoor equipment, indoor items, garbage, chemicals and poisons to higher locations. Also be alert to the dangers associated with falling trees as a result of the anticipated high wind gusts.”

Mr Grady said the intense rainfall could result in the flooding of creeks, drains and causeways.

“The simple and constant message here is if it’s flooded, forget it,” Mr Grady said.

“Under no circumstance should people enter flooded creeks or causeways by road or on foot and if you come across rising floodwaters, turn around and seek an alternative route.

“Parents, please also discourage your children from playing or swimming in flooded creeks and drains. Floodwaters are deadly and the dangers are lurking beneath the surface.

“There is no excuse for those who deliberately drive past a road closed sign into floodwater or ignore the advice of emergency authorities. You’re not only putting your life at risk, but the lives of your rescuers.”

For flood and storm assistance contact the State Emergency Service (SES) on 132 500 and for life-threatening emergencies dial triple zero (000).

Further information on weather warnings can be found at the BoM website at www.bom.gov.au or by tuning into your local radio. For more information on how to prepare visit www.disaster.qld.gov.au .



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


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