Extreme weather a reminder to be prepared

Almost a year since Tasmania experienced devastating floods, the state’s North is set to be hit by another severe weather event.

In the 2016 floods there were 600 requests for help in the North and North-West,130 properties were damaged and 100 people needed rescuing. 

The damage bill was estimated at $180 million, with communities still recovering from the losses.

Thankfully conditions this weekend are not expected to be as serious as those that caused massive damage last June.

But the trough sweeping the state from Saturday morning to evening will potentially bring flash flooding and create dangerous driving conditions.

Up to 80 millimeters of rain is expected in 24 hours in the North-East and North-West, with isolated areas tipped to have 100 millimeters dumped on them.

Areas likely to be impacted most include St Helens, Bicheno, Fingal, Devonport, Burnie and Smithton. 

It it is reminder for people to be prepared and act responsibly around flood waters.

Do not drive, walk or ride through flood waters.

Entering flooded roadways is very dangerous as you cannot see if the road has been washed out or if there are other submerged dangers.

Often water laying over roads can look mild but the underlying current can be enough to easily shift vehicles.

Then there is the risk of damaged powerlines and trees that can drop branches or be uprooted by the sodden ground.

This will be a likely occurrence with winds of up to 80km/h predicted.

Pets and livestock can also be in danger from fast rising floodwaters, so owners will have to plan early to deal with the risk.

As the State Emergency Service says, disaster preparedness is a shared responsibility, so check in on neighbours and family to see if they are aware of the pending downpour.

If you live near a catchment set to be impacted, be aware of rising river levels; it happens quicker than you might think.

And even if you’re in suburbia and not going to be hit by broken river banks, take some time to clear gutters of debris to prevent localised flooding.

When the worst of the weather arrives, stay inside, if possible.

It is much safer, drier and warmer in there, after all.