FLOOD WATERS HAVE HIDDEN DANGERS
The rising waters in the local rivers and estuaries this past week have had locals wondering if a flood is on the way. Gallons of rainfall coupled with big tides associated with the full moon on March 1 have fishing and boating groups on their toes and looking out for dangers that may follow.
The key ingredients required to create a flood, be it flash or non-flash include: Heavy rainfall caused by severe thunderstorms - isolated storms typically cause flash flooding in relatively small catchments or organised systems may extend to affect more than one catchment. Plus if we add a dash of poor drainage into the mix, caused usually from built up sand or mud, then your flood will fully develop into an erosion causing danger almost immediately. The chance of increased swell or even tidal wave would definitely wreak havoc on our coastline, when combined with flooding.
Floods are classified by the Bureau of Meteorology depending on the local flood gauge height and the resulting level of local community impact as follows:
1. Minor flooding: Causes inconvenience such as closing of minor roads and the submergence of low level bridge.
2. Moderate flooding: Causes the inundation of low lying areas requiring the removal of stock and/or the evacuation of some houses. Main traffic bridges may be closed by floodwaters.
3. Major flooding: This causes inundation of large areas, isolating towns and cities. Major disruptions occur to road and rail links. Evacuation of many houses and business premises may be required. In rural areas widespread flooding of farmland is likely.
Floods and swollen rivers from excess rain can affect millions of people each year, at the least they can effect business and infrastructure and at the worst the water mass can claim lives and cause irreparable destruction. It always pays to know your local area and how to ensure your safety. It is obvious to take caution in and around unpredictable natural weather conditions like flooding, so read to become aware of some of the dangers during and after flooding:
1. Wading through flood waters
Wading through flood waters is dangerous for several reasons. First, flood waters can be moving at a rapid pace. Before you know it, you can be swept away and drown. Next, flood water can contain hundreds of different chemicals that are harmful for the body. In addition, bacteria and other microorganisms can cause disease and infection.
2. Driving in flood waters
Driving in flood waters is dangerous and risky. Cars can be swept away in just a few centimetres of water. Drivers can become stranded with their car being rolled or engulfed in water.
3. Listen to weather warnings
Every river has its own unique flood stage. Every single time a warning is posted for floods, be prepared. Many people assume they are not in a location to be affected by a flood, but this is not true. Once a river reaches flood stage, the results can be disastrous.
4. Using electricity after a flood
Always remember that electrical lines and water do not mix. Standing in water and attempting to remove electrical wires is extremely dangerous. Also remember that even if you do not have power in some locations in your house, not all the lines could be dead.
5. Swimming in swollen rivers
The runoff of water from heavy rainfall not only causes erosion and takes away valuable soil from farming land, residential homes etc, but with the soil can come chemicals, fertilisers and other toxins the human body is not able to cope with. Eyes, ears and respiratory systems can easily be affected after a swim in dirty river water as it is impossible to know could also be in the water. As always avoid diving or jumping into any water you are unsure of the depth or hidden obstacles underneath.
6. Driving on Previously Flooded Roads and Bridges
Floods can damage roads and bridges. Unseen structural damage can mean it is not safe to drive on previously flooded roadways. Be sure that the area has been inspected by officials and approved for travel.
7. Boating in flood waters
Swollen rivers can carry dangerous debris in the form of dead logs, tree branches, weed masses, structures like fencing and wire which may have been caught up in the fast flowing water. Often though, the debris is sitting just below the surface or wedged right in the path of your oncoming boat! Normally you would be able to see the dangerous underlying log but the murky brown water we have after such a large amount of rain is impairing your vision - so take due care when boating, avoid areas close to shore where debris is most likely to get caught.
Common sense is the best rule to apply in situations like flooding, thunderstorms and natural disasters. Though the local rivers and estuaries are not flooding, the increased rainfall and big tides might lead to some flooding over roads this weekend. Fingers crossed that the rain subsides now that our dams are fuller!
LOCAL FISHING REPORT
Noosa: Jacks in Woods Bay. Mud crabs scattered around Weyba Creek and throughout the middle and upper reaches.
Maroochy: Tailor to 3.5kg and jew to 80cm off the beach at Mudjimba over night. Grunter in the Cod Hole. Whiting on live worm in the bar on the 1st of the ebb tide. Mud crabs from the Motorway Bridge up stream.
Kawana: Bream to 1kg from the boat moorings and rock walls on Thursday. Mud crabs in the canals and above McKenzie's.
Caloundra: Bream off the boardwalk. Mud crabs between Bell's and Donnybrook.
Mick Heuistis fished aboard SQCS with Smithy last week at Mooloolaba 8 Mile Reef for this 19.2kg wahoo.
Graham had a good day aboard Anglers Advantage in the middle reaches of the Maroochy catching and releasing flathead on soft plastics.
Graham also worked a bait school around Stoney Wharf for this pan sized giant treally.
Adrian Bernard from Melbourne was on a half day charter to North Reef with Noosa Blue Water Charters when he boated this 5.5kg Spaniard (Supplied by www.fishingnoosa.com.au)