Some evacuate as water rises

AS communities in Rockhampton brace themselves for rising flood levels, residents are continuing to self-evacuate where necessary.

Queensland Police Chief Superintendent Alistair Dawson warned that floodwaters will take some time to disperse and asked communities to remain patient while the clean-up continues.

“This is a prolonged flooding event that is taking an unprecedented time to pass, even after the peak river height has been reached,” he said.

Flood levels continue to rise in Rockhampton, Thallon and St George.

The resupply of Rockhampton remains a focus.

The Bruce Highway northbound remains open, however caution when driving in the area is recommended as police continue to monitor the road.

Water levels remain high in Dirranbandi, Surat, Condamine and Theodore.

Assessment teams have entered the evacuated towns of Theodore and Condamine to assess what is required to get critical infrastructure up and running. Serious health concerns remain in these communities with septic systems overflowing, debris, mud and snakes all posing dangers.

Both townships are cut off and police continue to patrol the deserted towns. Residents will be repatriated when the infrastructure is operational and roads are open.

Water continues to be trucked into Dalby to ensure residents have a safe supply of potable water.

“If people require assistance they should contact their local disaster management committee at the earliest possible opportunity. We are here to help but we can’t help if you don’t tell us what you need,” Chief Superintendent Dawson said.

Police and the Department of Community Safety would like to praise the dedication and hard work of all people involved in the flood effort. Particular thanks go to volunteers who have given their time and effort to help the community.

EMQ Acting Assistant Director General Warren Bridson said discussions were ongoing with SES counterparts from NSW, Victoria and SA.

“We anticipate a contingent of Vic SES volunteers will arrive in Queensland later this week,” Acting Assistant Director General Bridson said.

When you hear a flood warning:

  • Listen to your local radio station for severe storm advice and warnings;
  • Plan to move vehicles, outdoor equipment, garbage, chemicals and poisons to higher locations;
  • Plan which indoor items you will raise or empty if water threatens your home (e.g. freezers and refrigerators); and
  • Check your emergency kit and safeguard your pets.

What to do if you need to evacuate:

  • Pack warm clothing, essential medications, valuables, personal papers, mobile phone, photos and mementos in waterproof bags to be taken with your emergency kit;
  • Raise furniture, clothing and valuables on to beds, tables and into roof spaces;
  • Empty freezers and refrigerators, leaving doors open;
  • Turn off power, water and gas;
  • Whether you leave or stay, put sandbags in the toilet bowl and over all laundry/bathroom drain holes to prevent sewage back-flow;
  • Lock your home and take recommended evacuation routes for your area.

Police remind motorists not to attempt to cross flooded roads or causeways. Do not risk your life, the lives of those in your vehicle and the lives of rescuers. Nothing is so important that you need to enter floodwaters.

For information:

People experiencing personal hardship due to the flooding can call 1800 173 349, or visit the Department of Communities web site for updates on the types and availability of support.

If you would like to donate to the Premier’s Flood Relief appeal, please call 1800 219 028.

Primary producers are urged to contact the Queensland Rural Adjustment Authority for assistance.

For practical health advice during and after floods, visit the Queensland Health website.

If you have a question about your insurance policy, or need help identifying your insurer, call the Insurance Council of Australia's 24-hour emergency hotline on 1300 728 228.

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