Wet spring forecast sparks flooding warning

October 1, 2020 BY

VICSES chief officer Tim Wiebusch alongside SES volunteers demonstrating the ‘15 to Float’ message.

SPRING is predicted to bring not only more rainfall than usual but also the potential for widespread flooding, and the Victorian State Emergency Service (VICSES) is highlighting the dangers of attempting to drive through floodwater.
The Bureau of Meteorology has updated its climate outlook for the rest of this year, predicting above-average rainfall for Victoria with a strong likelihood of a La Nina weather pattern.
VICSES Chief Officer Tim Wiebusch recently joined the Bureau of Meteorology’s Dr Andrew Watkins alongside SES volunteers in the pool at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre in support of the “15 to Float” campaign and to demonstrate the low level of water needed to cause a small car to float.
In terms of natural hazards, floods are the second-highest cause of fatalities in Australia, with a large majority of those fatalities due to people being washed away in vehicles.
Research conducted by the University of New South Wales has indicated it can take as little as 15cm of water for a small car to float.
To prepare for the risk of widespread riverine flooding this spring, VICSES has developed a number of local flood guides for townships most at risk of flooding.
One of these townships is Aireys Inlet, which has Painkalac Creek running through it and has mostly experienced flooding after heavy rainfall over a short time.
Barwon Heads and Ocean Grove also have a history of flooding, including in 1880, 1909, 1951, 1952, 1973, 1978, 1995 and 2002.
For local flood guides, head to ses.vic.gov.au/get-ready/your-local-flood-information.

Thank you for supporting local journalism!