WITH all the wet weather around and with more predicted over summer, it’s important to know what to do when it’s flooding.

First things first, and probably one of the most important things to remember when it is flooding, is if it’s flooded forget it!

1. If it’s flooded forget it

Queensland Government research found 29 percent of all Queensland drivers have risked driving on flooded roads, according to RACQ.

The data showed the figure was significantly higher among men with 36 percent admitting to having driven through floodwaters compared with 22 percent of women and 40 percent of drivers aged 18-24 said they had taken the risk.

While 40 percent of four-wheel-drive owners said they had driven through floodwaters. RACQ said the reality is four-wheel-drives are as much at risk as any vehicle as foodwaters deeper than the bottom of a car door is all it takes to float a vehicle or cause the engine to stall. Once a vehicle starts floating there is nothing anyone can do.

Floodwaters also hide submerged objects and road washouts which can wash vehicles away or cause vehicles to become stuck. 

The reasons drivers gave in the survey for driving through floodwaters included following a vehicle in front, not knowing any other routes, wanting to get to family on the other side – and driving on flooded roads was just being part of living in Queensland.

>> READ MORE: QFES PREPARES FOR CYCLONE SEASON’S SEVERE WEATHER

It doesn’t matter if the person before you got through, if you’re an experienced driver or you think you know the road and what your car can do. Floodwaters can change everything without warning.

RACQ spokesperson Lucinda Ross said if it has been raining heavily, drivers should check weather and road conditions before leaving home.

“Heavy rain can also cause flash flooding, so don’t take any chances with flooded roads,” Ms Ross said.

“All flooded roads are dangerous and it does not matter what sort of vehicle your are in, it is not worth the risk.”

Other important safety messages for when it is flooding is to take heed of road closure signage, do not remove road closed signs, know that water may be deeper than it looks, submerged objects can damage a vehicle, plan trips and routes and stay up-to-date with road network incidents and closures, pack food and drinks, check weather forecasts before going anywhere and call triple zero (000) and ask for the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services if you are caught, or you see someone caught, in a flooded waterway.

The If It’s Flooded, Forget It website also provides a flooded roads map based on historical data submitted by public users to help residents and travellers identify roads prone to flooding and factor this information into their planning.

At the end of the day, remember, if it is flooded, forget it.

For up-to-date road network incidents and closures call RACQ on 13 19 40 or visit the RACQ Road Conditions or www.131940.qld.gov.au.

>> READ MORE: HOW TO START PREPARING FOR CYCLONE SEASON

2. Mackay flood cameras

Mackay residents can view images captured by flood cameras in real time by navigating to the map on the homepage of the  Mackay Council’s emergency dashboard and clicking on the blue icons.

Cameras have been installed on several roads in the Mackay region including Golf Links Road, Beaconsfield; Mackay-Bucasia Road, McCready Ck; Willets Road, Gooseponds; Sarina Beach Road, Sarina Beach; Telegraph Road, Eton; Owens Creek Loop Road, Finch Hatton and Antonys Crossing.

The cameras are equipped with day/night vision capabilities and will update every 30 minutes.

For Mackay residents, the flood cameras provide another level of up-to-date information in the event of an emergency.

See the flood cameras here.

3. Mackay Council Emergency Dashboard

Also available on the dashboard is the latest emergency news, road conditions, power outages, storm warnings, river heights, rainfall, active shelter and evacuation centres, fire bans and restrictions, weather radars, evacuation maps, school closures, local radio stations and other helpful contacts.

Residents can also opt-in on the dashboard to receive up-to-date local information during disasters via email or text message.

Opt-in notifications will provide subscribers with the latest news including weather warnings, emergency news and road closures via email and/or text message.

Go to Council’s emergency dashboard here.

>> READ MORE: PREPARING FOR STORM SEASON

4. Emergency sand stockpiles

To lessen requests for assistance on volunteer State Emergency Services (SES), Mackay Regional Council provides free 24/7 public access sand stockpiles for emergency sandbagging.

There are 14 temporary emergency sand stockpiles located across the Mackay region. These sites are for residents to obtain sand for emergency use only, such as protecting a property from flooding in the event of a natural disaster.

During storm season Council will monitor and replenish sand at these stockpile sites. Residents need to bring a shovel and their own sandbags. Hessian or poly-weave sandbags may be purchased from most hardware stores.

Sand stockpiles are located at:

  • Armstrong Beach – Rural Fire Brigade Shed
  • Calen – Church Street
  • Campwin Beach – SES Facility, 103 Campwin Beach Road
  • Finch Hatton – SES Facility, 17 Letchford Street
  • Grasstree Beach – 40 Zelma Street
  • Koumala – SES Facility – Bull Street
  • Midge Point – SES Facility – 1503 Midge Point Road
  • Mirani – Corner of Victoria and Augusta streets
  • North Mackay – Norris Road reserve (PCYC end)
  • Sarina – SES Facility – Brewers Road
  • Seaforth – Palm Avenue – Tennis courts (Across from Seaforth Bowls Club)
  • South Mackay – BB Print Stadium Mackay overflow car park on Leisure Street
  • West Mackay – Hume Street and 374 Shakespeare Street (beside 122 Army Cadet premises)

State up to date with State Emergency Service – Mackay Regional Unit on Facebook.

5. Emergency contacts

During a severe weather event with intense rainfall, it is important to know who to call if help is needed.

For a life-threatening situation, call 000. For storm-related damage to private property, contact the State Emergency Services (SES) on132 500 and for any fallen power lines, call 000 or Ergon on 131670.

Stay safe, everyone.