Regional communities in best position to prepare for wet season22-Dec-2016
With the wet season now upon us, regional communities are being reminded to take advantage of new and improved early warning information to better prepare for extreme weather events.
SunWater Chief Executive Officer Nicole Hollows says local emergency groups and agencies have taken major strides towards improving early warning systems and to coordinate flood management responsibilities.
“Every summer Queenslanders face the challenges of cyclones and flooding, and we expect the 2016/17 wet season to be no different,” said Ms Hollows.
“SunWater has been working closely with councils and local disaster management groups to provide tools and information to help people make informed decisions in the lead up to heavy rainfall or cyclonic events.
“Enhanced weather monitoring, modelling and forecasting means regional communities are now in a better position than ever before to make informed decisions in the face of extreme weather.”
Drawing on more advanced modelling and forecasting information, SunWater has developed a mobile app to share information about dam levels and the passing of flood waters.
The free mobile app provides location-based information for the general public on each of SunWater’s 19 regional Queensland dams, to help assess the impact of rainfall in the catchment and to help determine their flood risk.
In addition to the app, residents living 10-15 kilometres downstream of a SunWater dam are able to register for an emergency notification service to receive emergency messages leading up to and during an event when a dam is passing flood waters.
“The notification service provides emergency SMS alerts direct to registered mobile phones, giving those living directly downstream real-time notifications to help inform their emergency response,” said Ms Hollows.
“We have more information available than ever before and I urge people to take advantage of these resources to plan for - and respond to - extreme rainfall events,” she said.
Ms Hollows added that proximity to a dam or weir doesn’t necessarily determine flood risk: “Flooding can come from a number of sources. It’s important you understand how a flood can impact the infrastructure and access roads around you and have a plan in place to evacuate you and your family.”
For more on the mobile app, to register for the downstream notification service, or for other useful information on living near dams, visit www.sunwater.com.au/
SunWater Media Team
Phone: +61 7 3120 0047