Riverine flood information for the Forth River

Version 1 September 2023

Forth flood map
Forth flood map

The Forth River can cause flooding in Forth, Turners Beach, Leith and Kindred. The map shows where a flood may reach. The darker blue areas are the most likely to flood.

In a major flood, roads in and around Forth will be cut before some areas are flooded. Schools in the area may become isolated due to flood waters. If you need to evacuate, you should leave early, before flood waters rise. Check www.tasalert.com and listen to ABC local radio for warnings and advice.

Flood waters may isolate your home for several days. Even if your home is not flooded, you may not be able to access help if needed. You should have supplies for at least three days and prepare for power and telecommunications outages.

Are you at risk of flood?

Past flooding events around Forth include:

  • August 1970 – This major flood was the second largest recorded flood of the Forth River.
  • August 2007 – This event followed a minor flood less than a week earlier. Despite relatively low rainfalls, major flooding caused significant damage and evacuations.
  • January 2011 – This moderate flood was unusual in that it occurred in summer and due to rainfall mostly in the mid to lower catchment, catching many by surprise.
  • June 2016 – Highest recorded flood at Forth.  Numerous homes and businesses were flooded, and significant damage caused to public infrastructure.
  • October 2022 – People were better prepared for this moderate flood.  Despite widespread inundation, losses were minimized.

Whist significant flooding of Turners Beach has not been recorded to date, modelling tells us that with the right combination of flooding, high tides and sand deposits at the river mouth, some homes in this area may be at risk.

What should I do?

  • Check the map to see whether your home or business could flood.
  • Check if you can safely get to your home, work, or school during a flood.
  • Prepare a Home Emergency Plan.
  • If you will be isolated you may need to evacuate early.
  • Assess your home or business and prepare it to minimise possible flood damage.

Floods like the one shown in the map or worse will occur. No two floods are the same.

If you live in a low-lying area, your house may flood. Even if your home is safe, you may need to detour around flooded areas or your road access may be cut. Never drive into or enter flood waters. Roads and bridges may be washed out or unsafe.

Knowing what to do can save your life and help protect your property. Having a Home Emergency Plan is one of the best ways to prepare. Decide on weather and rainfall triggers for when to act.

Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) Forecasts, Warnings, and Observations

The Bureau of Meteorology (the Bureau) issues a Flood Watch when predicted weather might cause floods in one or two days. A Flood Watch may

  • be for a specific area such as Forth, or
  • be generalised such as for north-west river basins

BoM issues Minor, Moderate, and Major flood warnings specifically for the Forth River below Wilmot, including predicted flood height. The time between the warning and flooding occurring can vary from a few hours to one or two days.

Rainfall Monitoring and Observations

River levels and rainfall in the Forth River catchment (including the Wilmot River) can be monitored on the BoM or Hydro Tasmania website.

The N.W. Tasmania (West Takone) Radar is useful for real-time situation awareness of where heavy rainfall is falling.  Radar Rainfall estimates are also available to fill in gaps in areas where there are no rainfall stations.

SES will issue flood warnings on tasalert.com based on forecasts from the Bureau in line with the Australian Warning System. 
 Advice (Yellow): an incident has started. There is no immediate danger. Stay up to date in case the situation changes. 
Watch and Act (Orange): There is a heightened level of threat. Conditions are changing and you need to start taking action now to protect you and your family
Emergency Warning (Red): An Emergency Warning is the highest level of warning. You may be in danger and need to take action immediately. Any delay now puts your life at risk. 
Community update (Blue): Specific information and updates for affected communities regarding a particular event or incident.
Incident (White): an incident is the initial occurrence of an event before it becomes an emergency warning. As soon as an incident is reported, TasALERT published basic information including the type and location of incident.

Know your risk, get ready, reduce risk where you can, connect with others, stay alert and act safe.

Before a flood

1. Know your risk

Flooding often happens in Tasmania and can cause widespread and significant damage. In the past 200 years there have been 78 flood related deaths in Tasmania. This guide is to help you understand flood risk in your area.

2. Prepare your household

Have an emergency plan that covers storms and floods

Thinking about what you would do in a storm or flood means you are more prepared and everyone is safer. Have an emergency plan that everyone in your household understands. There are checklists to help you think through your plan – see the SES website or Red Cross Rediplan.
Check your plan regularly and test it by everyone in the household thinking through a flooding scenario that may affect your household.

Prepare an Emergency Kit

Ready to Go
  • Battery powered radio and torch, spare batteries
  • Important information, such as your emergency plan
  • A list of emergency numbers
  • Food and water
  • First aid kit
  • Rubber or strong leather gloves
Pack when needed
  • Warm clothes, sturdy shoes or boots
  • Medicine, glasses or other essential items
  • Mobile phone and phone charger
  • Pet food and anything else they need
  • Photos and special keepsakes
  • Money
  • Important documents, for example
    • insurance papers
    • passports and
    • birth certificates

Regularly test batteries in radios and torches.

3. Reduce your risk from flooding where you can

  • Think about storms, flooding and other hazards when buying, maintaining or developing property.
  • Trim or remove trees and branches overhanging your home, business or near powerlines on your property.
  • Keep your gutters and drains clear.

4. Connect with others

Know your neighbours and get involved in your community.  A connected community is a safer and more resilient community in an emergency and can help everyone recover better afterwards. Check that family and neighbours are safe and aware of what’s happening.

See for example the Huon Valley Good Neighbour project.


5. Keep up to date

Keep aware of what is happening around you. Check forecasts, observations and warnings regularly. 

6. Act Safe

  • Supervise children.
  • Prepare for possible power, water or internet outages.
  • Check your emergency kit is ready to go.
  • Keep clear of flooded areas such as drains. NEVER walk, play, ride or drive in floodwater. You can’t always see what is under the water or how deep or fast-moving the water is. It is easy to be swept away and drown in as little as 20cm of fast-moving water. Flood water can be dangerous.

When your home may be flooded

  • Put household items up high to minimise possible damage.
  • Turn off the electricity and gas if it is safe to do so. 
  • A great way to stop sewerage flowing back into your home is to place sandbags inside plastic bags and use them to block toilets and cover drains and sinks.
  • Leave while you can get out safely.

If you need to evacuate

  • Follow the advice from SES / Tasmania Police.  
  • Take your emergency kit. 
  • Go to friends or family in a safer place or an evacuation centre. 
  • Let others know where you have gone.

Look after your animals

You are responsible for your animals in an emergency. If you have pets and other animals it will take you longer to evacuate in a flood or other emergency. Move livestock from flood prone areas well before flood waters may rise.  For more information see

Avoid travelling during storms and after storms

  • Do not go sightseeing. Sightseers delay emergency services and cause accidents.
  • Watch out for hazards such as
    • water over roads
    • damaged powerlines
    • landslides
    • damaged roads
    • falling trees or roofing iron.
  • Never drive through flood waters. Most deaths and rescues in floods are from people driving through flood waters.
  • Drive slowly and turn your headlights on roads not affected by flood waters.


  • Keep listening for ABC Local Radio updates, road re-openings, community meetings, etc.
  • If you left your home, do not return home until SES or Tasmania Police tell you it is safe to do so.
  • Be aware of road hazards, such as mud or debris on the road, damaged roads/bridges and crews working on clean-up and repairs.

If your home has been damaged

  • Stay at ground level while checking for damage. Be careful of fallen trees, broken glass, loose roofing or other hazards.
  • Wear strong boots, gloves and protective clothes. 
  • Use a torch, never use matches or candles inside flood affected buildings. 
  • Boil all drinking water until you are told the tap water is safe again.
  • Do not turn on it is tested by a licensed electrician or gas fitter for safety.
  • If your home is damaged and you need to stay somewhere else, take your emergency kit and pets with you
  • Take photos of any damage if safe for you to do so and contact your insurance company.
  • Supervise children.
  • Check neighbours are okay.

For further information go to www.ses.tas.gov.au

Staying informed and further information

Current warnings (TasAlerts) alerts.tas.gov.au

Bureau of Meteorology (BoM)

Emergency Broadcasters ABC 936AM

TASSES Social Media

  • facebook.com/sestasmania
  • twitter.com/sestasmania

SES – Preparing for Flood Emergencies

Central Coast Council         6429 8900 (or after hours 6429 8999 for emergencies only)

National Relay Service (NRS)