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Travel Information

The majority of flood related deaths in Australia are a result of inexperienced people entering flood waters on foot, in vehicles and by boat.

Driving on roads during or after a flood is extremely hazardous. Roads may be damaged, bridges destroyed and communities may be isolated by flood waters for days, weeks or months.

It is important to review your travel plans if the region you are travelling through has experienced recent flooding and avoid driving, boating and wading through flooded waters at all times unless absolutely necessary.

People have drowned after being trapped in their vehicles, washed away in rapid waters and been seriously injured from hidden debris by attempting to travel through flood waters.



Driving and Floodwaters

When you see floodwaters, STOP. If a road is closed, it is closed for a very good reason.

Skilled drivers always ask themselves 3 QUESTIONS

1. How deep is the water? In just 15cms of flowing water, floods can take control of a small car.
In just 30cms of flowing water, flood will take control of a 4WD.
2. What condition is the road in? If you can’t see the road, you can’t see the damage and obstructions
3. How strong is the current? Cars have been washed away in shallow floodwaters
Remember: if you’re not sure, it’s okay to drive away.

How can you be safer while travelling during a flood?

  • Review your travel plans if the region you are travelling through has experienced recent flooding
  • Obey road closures and check road conditions with Main Roads 138 138. Remember, CLOSED MEANS CLOSED
  • Use a recommended route and do not hurry
  • Be aware that some roads may be flooded and impassable
  • If you have to drive, avoid driving at night as potholes and clean water may not be visible
  • If your car stalls in rising water, abandon it immediately and seek shelter above floodwater levels
  • Do not park or camp in a dry river crossing
  • Do not walk on riverbanks or across bridges if possible until they have been declared as safe
  • Carry plenty of water, food and petrol
  • Stay away from waterways and storm water drains
  • Keep clear of fallen, submerged power lines
  • Take your emergency plan and kit

Driving through Floodwater factsheet

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Boats and flood waters

  • Consider all fallen wires as dangerous
  • If you are in a metal boat, stay away from powerlines and poles
  • If you are in a wooden or fibreglass boat avoid touching the water or metallic parts of the boat
  • Stay away from guy wires as metal from the boat that touches a guy wire can cause a spark and ignite oil or any fuel on the surface of the water
  • Wear a life jacket at all times and carry items such as oars, extra fuel and anchor

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Avoid walking or swimming in flood areas

  • Do not swim or wade in flood water as it is usually contaminated, can often have strong under currents, hidden snags and other hazards
  • Do not allow children to play in floodwater
  • If you have to enter shallow flood waters, wear protective shoes
  • Take extra care on foot bridges and walkways as they may be very slippery
  • Inform authorities and neighbours where you are going
  • Try to avoid going anywhere alone as it is safer to be travel in pairs

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For road and weather conditions

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