Riverine flooding information for areas around the Huon River and its tributaries above Ranelagh, including Glen Huon, Judbury, Lonnavale, Tahune and surrounds.
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The Huon River and its tributaries can flood low lying properties above Huonville/ Ranelagh and isolate some areas.
Parts of Glen Huon Road and Glen Huon are prone to flooding, as are many minor roads around the area.
Areas upstream from Judbury and areas south of the river may become isolated during a major flood.
For those travelling in the area, Rivers Edge campground can flood and may become isolated in major flood events, and the Tahune area may become isolated in moderate to major flood events.
The maps show the expected flood level around the upper Huon catchment that has a 1% chance of happening any year (1% annual exceedance probability (AEP)). You are likely to experience a flood of this size at least once in your lifetime.
Heavy rain in the South West wilderness can cause the Huon River to flood even if there is little rain around people’s homes in the Huon Valley. Rapid snowmelt sometimes increases Huon River flooding. High rainfall lower in the Huon River catchment and its tributaries can also add to flooding. Huon River tributaries such as the Russell River and the Arve River can also flood, depending on where rain falls.
Storm water run-off can also impact properties when there is very heavy local rain.
Edgar and Scotts Peak Dam have minimal impacts on Huon River flood levels.
Are you at risk of flood?
The Huon Valley has a long history of major flooding, including in 1901, 1947, 1958, 1960, 1975, 1996, 2016 and 2022. The area often has minor flooding.
What should I do?
- Check the map opposite to see whether your home or business is likely to be at risk of flooding during a flood.
- Prepare a Home Emergency Plan, including whether you need to evacuate in advance of a flood, where you will go and what you need to take.
- If you have a business in the area, you should have a plan that covers flooding. Business Tasmania can help– see www.business.tas.gov.au/manage_a_business/
- If you need to evacuate or return home during a flood, make sure your route is safe.
- Asses your home or business and know what you need to do to prepare it to minimise possible damage from water inundation.
Floods like the one shown on the map, or worse, will occur again. No two floods are the same.
If you live in a low-lying area or near a watercourse, 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. Avoid travel during floods.
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 Forecasts, Warnings, and Observations
The Huon River has several real-time river level gauges and a network of rainfall gauges that can support flood warnings. Floodwater at Judbury generally takes a couple of hours to reach Huonville. Monitor rainfall totals and river rises at www.bom.gov.au/tas/flood/ .
Whenever there may be rain that leads to flooding along the Huon River the Bureau will issue:
- A Flood Watch – a “heads up” early advice of forecast weather that may lead to flooding.
- A Flood Warning – predicting when flooding is likely to develop at the gauge locations. These warnings may
|Huon River at Harrison’s Opening
|Huon River at Tahune Bridge
|Huon River at Judbury
|Huon River at Huonville
There are no formal warning levels for other waterways in the area.
Whenever heavy rain is expected in an area that may lead to flooding, the Bureau issues
- Severe Weather Warning and/or
- Thunderstorm Warning for heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding.
The time between the warning and heavy rain falling can vary from an hour to 24 hours or more. It is best to act on the warnings from the Bureau of Meteorology rather than wait for local flooding alerts around Mountain River and Skinners Creek.
Tracking Rainfall on Kunanyi/ Mount Wellington can help predict flooding around Mountain River. Go to www.bom.gov.au/tas/ .
The Mt Koonya Radar is useful to see when and where heavy rainfall is falling and is available on the BOM Weather app and website.
Download BOM Weather app and set your location to receive push notifications of warnings (more details at www.bom.gov.au/app/) .
Listen to ABC 936AM or go to tasalert.com for warnings.
Understand the warnings and key information
Keep aware of what is happening around you. Check forecasts, observations and warnings regularly.
|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.
Flood levels around the Huon River
While no two floods are the same, the following table shows what is likely to happen if there is flooding around Mountain River. Even if your property is not flooded, you need to think about access.
The rainfall amounts that might cause such an event are examples. Other levels of rainfall can cause flooding depending on
- where the rain falls
- how heavy the rain is
- how long the rain lasts, and
- how wet the ground is beforehand.
Minor flooding (Above 3m at Tahune, 4m at Judbury)
- Water spills over riverbanks and covers nearby low-lying areas. Agricultural and horticultural land on river flats may be at risk. Livestock should be moved from these areas.
- There may be some flooding of back roads or forestry roads, tracks and low level bridges, for example, Southwood Rd and Upper SheOak Road.
- Some low-lying properties may have flooding around buildings below floor level.
Moderate flooding (above 5m at Tahune, 5.3m at Judbury)
- There is more extended and deeper flooding of agricultural and horticultural land along the river flats with some stock losses if not moved. There may be damage to fences.
- There is likely to be more extensive flooding in low-lying sections of minor roads, including for example Charlies Road as well as Lorkins Rd, Southwood Road and SheOak Road.
- Flooding may reach above floor heights of some low-lying houses and other buildings,
- Some properties on minor roads above low-lying waterway crossings may become isolated.
Major flooding (Above 6.3m at Tahune, 6m at Judbury, starting from about a 5-10% chance of happening any year)
This type of event is similar to the 2016 flood event, but can differ depending on where rain falls.
- Parts of Glen Huon Road west from Huonville Bridge and surrounding low-lying properties begin to flood. The Huonville Golf Club begins to flood.
- The Huon Highway at Huonville is likely cut, isolating areas on the south side of the river that cannot be accessed via Judbury.
- Depending on where heavy rain falls, the Huon Highway south of Grove may be inundated for a short time.
- Low lying properties along the Huon River flood plain and possibly other minor waterways are at risk of being flooded above floor level. It may be necessary to evacuate some dwellings.
- Lonnavale Road at Judds Creek and Russell River crossings plus the campground at Lonnavale flood, isolating surrounding properties.
- Tahune Airwalk and surrounds may be isolated.
- Many back roads have areas that are flooded.
- The North Huon Road is not prone to flooding, but there if there is heavy rain, there are risks of fallen trees, landslides and hazardous driving conditions anywhere.
- While the Judbury Bridge may not be inundated, the approaches to the bridge may be.
- Many minor waterway crossings may be impassable due to flooding or should be considered hazardous. This can isolate areas above.
- There is likely to be crop and stock loss unless the stock are moved to higher ground.
Major flooding (About 9.5m at Judbury, about a 1% chance of happening any year)
The Huon Valley has not experienced this level of event in recent years. However, everybody should be prepared for it. Parts of northern Tasmania have had this level of event several times in the past 10 years, and the chance of such events happening is increasing with climate change. Note many of these impacts will start in less severe events, for example those with a 5% or 2% chance of happening any year. In addition to the impacts listed above:
- There is extensive flooding along Glen Huon Road and low-lying properties.
- Many low-lying areas along back roads and forestry roads have high levels of flooding, including the Arve River picnic ground and Keoghs Creek Nature Trail.
- Lonnavale is likely to be isolated, with flood risks to low-lying properties to above floor height.
- Parts of Judbury may be flooded, including Calvert Park and some properties near Judds Creek.
While North Huon Road is largely not prone to flooding, there may be water over the road at the Call Creek crossing between Waggs Gully Road and Browns Road.
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
- 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
- RSPCA’s guidance on preparing for animals in an emergency
- Huon Valley Council’s advice on preparing an emergency pet plan
- the Primary producer farm flood readiness toolkit.
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
- 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
Bureau of Meteorology (BoM)
Emergency Broadcasters ABC 936AM
TASSES Social Media
Preparing for Flood Emergencies ses.tas.gov.au/plan-prepare/flood
Huon Valley Council huonvalley.tas.gov.au 6264 0300
National Relay Service (NRS) relayservice.gov.au