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Date: Contact: Phone:
06 JUN 2016 DPFEM Media Unit 03 6173 2424


Flood Update 2000hrs

Exceptionally heavy rain has fallen across northern Tasmania over the past 48 hours.  

The heavy rain has led to major flooding on the Mersey, Forth, North Esk Rivers and major flooding is developing tonight and overnight in the South Esk, Meander, Derwent and Ouse Rivers.

Significant inundation has resulted in parts of the communities of Latrobe, Newstead, Ouse and the Meander Valley being evacuated.

The River Derwent is expected to peak at 3m tonight – anyone living in or around the riverbanks near New Norfolk, please be vigilant.

Eight flood gates are closed on the eastern side of the Invermay levee system. Residents are asked to remain vigilant and monitor the ABC as the emergency broadcaster.

It’s too early to give an estimate of damage to infrastructure – our priority is to respond to the situation.

Rain is moving east with the potential for flash flooding to occur on the East Coast. Surf of up to 8m is expected on central East Coast.

A number of roads remain closed, however the Midland Highway at Tunbridge is open.

What are we doing:

  • We are working with Tasmania Police and other agencies to help ensure people’s safety as we deal with this significant flood event – potentially exceeding the 1929 levels for the North Esk.
  • All available SES crews are working statewide to assist residents with flood affected properties (there are around 550 volunteers).
  • SES state and regional operations centres are active in Hobart, the North West, North and South.
  • We have had more than 300 requests for assistance so far.
  • More than 100 people have been rescued from flood affected areas today.
  • More than 100 properties have been inundated by the floods.
  • A number of people have been evacuated from their properties in the communities of Latrobe, Ouse, Newstead and the Meander Valley.
  • We’ve rescued several people from their vehicles when they have entered flood waters. 
  • We’ve been sandbagging various locations including businesses in Latrobe and around the Ouse Bridge, assisting police in evacuating affected schools and responding to requests for assistance.
  • 15 businesses and 20 residences at Latrobe have been inundated, and 7 residences at Wynyard were flooded.
  • 5 houses are currently underwater at Ouse.
  • It’s too early to give an estimate of damage to infrastructure – our priority is to respond to the situation.
  • 4 evacuation centres are currently open:
  • East Devonport (East Devonport Recreation Ground, Caroline St)
  • Albert Hall (corner Cimitiere and Tamar Sts, Launceston)
  • Deloraine (Recreation Centre, Alverston Drive)
  • New Norfolk (Carinya Community Centre, 103 Blair St)
  • The Wynyard evacuation centre was closed due to lack of operational requirement.
  • More rain is forecast for Wednesday and Thursday so we urge people to be prepared.
  • SES is being supported by TFS and is working closely with other agencies including the Bureau of Meteorology, Tasmania Police and Municipal Councils.

Advice to community:

Evacuation Centres have been set up at:

  • Launceston – Albert Hall, Cnr Cimitiere and Tamar Streets
  • Wynyard – Railway Institute Hall, Station Street (Back of airport)
  • East Devonport – East Devonport Recreation Ground, Caroline Street
  • Deloraine – Deloraine Community Centre, Alverston Drive Deloraine
  • New Norfolk – Carinya Community Centre
  • Do not go near flood waters, drains or culverts.
  • Do not drive, walk, swim or cycle through flood waters.
  • Stay away from beaches as potentially 8m swells are expected on Northern East Coast of the state.
  • Beware of damaged trees and keep clear of fallen powerlines and floodwaters surrounding them.
  • Check that family and neighbours are aware of warnings.
  • Check on livestock and pets to ensure they are safe from floodwaters.
  • Drive to the conditions. If you don’t need to drive in the wet, stay indoors.
  • Listen to ABC local radio or check for regular updates.
  • Road closures check Link to External Site.


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