Northern flood hotline

Picture: NEIL RICHARDSON
Picture: NEIL RICHARDSON

An information hotline has been set up for residents of affected areas of Northern Tasmania under threat of flooding.

The number is 1800 049 508.

As of 3pm today, flood warnings exist for the North Esk, South Esk, Meander and Macquarie rivers.

The South Esk River is in major flood, with levels not expected to peak at Longford (7 metres) until 5pm this afternoon.

Acting Northern Commander Darren Hopkins, of Tasmania Police, said that so far, only one of the Longford flood gates - at Union Street - had been partially erected as a precaution.

Commander Hopkins said that as of 3pm, Longford was still accessible to the public via Tannery Road.

The South Esk is expected to peak at the Trevallyn spillway at midnight in what police describe as a one-in-20-year flood event.

“Taking into account the tidal conditions of the Tamar River and the projected increase of volume over the next 18 hours, it’s expected that the river will peak between 5pm today and 5am tomorrow morning," Commander Hopkins said.

“However, it’s difficult to predict the exact time given change in tide and rising flood levels but we expect that by midnight we would be given a relatively good indication as to what threat may exist, if any.

“Police are not issuing evacuation orders at this point but urge people to be prepared to evacuate if required."

On Thurday night and this morning, police doorknocked residents in the Seaport area to provide flood advice in the event that river levels reach homes and businesses in the area.

Police expect residents in Hart Street at Newstead to be affected by flows from the North Esk. Police will be doorknocking homes in the area today, as well as businesses in Invermay so they can take precautions.

“Members of the public can feel reassured that robust plans are in place and while they are asked to be on alert, at this stage there is no cause for alarm,” SES regional manager Mhairi Revie said.

“At this stage there are no plans to evacuate Invermay. However, evacuation plans are being considered in the event that predicted levels are exceeded. Should this situation change we will contact residents in the Invermay area.

“We also urge people who have mobility issues or special needs and who are in these flood-prone areas to register with the hotline.”

Acting Commander Hopkins said as a precaution, the following flood gates will be closed in the Launceston area:

- Cypress Street at the Railway Yard at Hoblers Bridge;

- the Black Bridge flood gate

- the flood gate behind the Museum

- Seaport flood gate

- Glebe Farm flood gates along with the Forster, Gleadow and Lindsay Street flood gates.