Significant rainfall overnight has resulted in rising floodwaters across the north and northwest.
Yesterday, the State Emergency Service made the decision to issue Emergency Warnings to Evacuate for a number of communities, to give them plenty of time to respond in daylight hours.
There are Emergency Warnings to Evacuate Now current for:
• Mersey River (Kimberley, Elizabeth Town, Merseylea, Sunnyside, Railton, Sassafras, Latrobe, Tarleton and surrounds)
• North Esk River (parts of Newstead in the Hart Street area)
• Downstream of Lake Isandula Dam (Isandula Road, Preston Road and Gawler Road)
• Meander River (Meander, Montana, Red Hills, Deloraine, Reedy Marsh, Exton, Westbury, Selbourne, Quamby Bend, Hagley, Westwood, Carrick and surrounds)
There is also an Emergency Warning – Move to higher ground for St Patricks River (Nunamara, Myrtle Bank, Corkerys Road and surrounds)
Residents in these areas are strongly recommended to leave if it is safe to do so.
SES advises that if you live in these areas, you should evacuate if it is safe to do so, and go to the home of a family member or friend who are in a safe location or an evacuation centre.
If staying with family and friends is not an option, the evacuation centres for these areas are:
• Latrobe Memorial Hall, 170 Gilbert Street,
• The Green Shed 52 Crockers Street, Railton
• Deloraine Community Centre – 2-8 Alverston Dr, Deloraine
• Ulverstone Recreation Centre, 2 Flora St, Ulverstone
Last night, only low numbers of people had attended the Council managed evacuation centres.
The SES has reiterated warnings that driving conditions may be dangerous. Some roads and bridges may be impacted. Drive to the conditions and do not drive through flood waters. Flood waters are a risk to safety, never walk, play, ride, or drive in floodwater.
The SES is closely monitoring the Ringarooma, North Esk, South Esk, St Patricks, Forth and Ouse Rivers.
The State Emergency Service Acting Director, Leon Smith, advises that “Flood inundation modelling from the 2016 event has been used to inform our response and we are well prepared for this significant and protracted event.
“Emergency Alert has been activated to directly message everyone with a mobile phone as well as landlines in the identified evacuation areas. SES has doorknocked homes likely to be affected.
“While rain is expected to ease through Friday, floodwaters will continue to pose a threat for some time and it will take several days before the floodwaters subside.”
Overnight, SES were advised by TasWater of a dam at risk of failure at Lake Isandula, near Gawler. An emergency alert was issued to the community to evacuate the area immediately including 42 residences. Houses in the at-risk area were also door-knocked to ensure residents were able to evacuate safely.
TasWater has advised that the dam level has now stopped increasing and is considered stable. A full assessment will be conducted at first light.
70 residences in the Newstead area in Launceston were also evacuated overnight.
Overnight, the SES received 147 calls to the 132 500 number, and responded to 39 requests for assistance.
The Tasmania Emergency Information Service has also been established to provide flood-affected communities with general information throughout this weather event. People can call 6145 5303 for the cost of a local call.
For flood and storm assistance call 132 500 and for life threatening emergencies call Triple Zero.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) has advised that this a significant rain event that will continue to impact the north and north-west of the state until early Friday morning with ongoing flooding into next week.
Flood Watch and Act Warnings are on TasALERT and should be carefully monitored.
Advice to community:
SES urge people to seek further information and keep up-to-date with information from:
• http://www.bom.gov.au/tas/warnings/ – for the latest weather forecast and warnings.
• www.tasalert.com – for current flood warnings and advice.
• https://www.ses.tas.gov.au/ – for advice on how to prepare, and make flood and evacuation plans.
• https://www.police.tas.gov.au/community-alerts/ – for road closures
In the event of heavy rainfall and flooding:
• Check that family and neighbours, especially those who are vulnerable, are aware and have a plan in place.
• Supervise children closely.
• Minimise unnecessary travel.
• Never enter or drive through floodwaters, and when driving look out for debris on roads including fallen trees and power lines.
• Manage pets and livestock.
• Be prepared for flash-flooding.
• Be prepared for power outages.
• Listen to the ABC radio.
• Tasmania Emergency Information Service for flood-affected communities with general information throughout this weather event on 6145 5303 for the cost of a local call.
• Call SES on 132 500 for flood and storm-related emergency assistance.
• Dial Triple Zero (000) in a life-threatening emergency.