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11 December, 2020

Now is not the time to be complacent

RECENT weather conditions have seen extended periods of hot and dry weather in large areas of Queensland and in particular the Far North.

By Peter McCullagh

With the current weather conditions we are experiencing, it’s difficult to comprehend that the official summer storm and cyclone season officially starts on November 1.

The Bureau of Meteorology has outlined the forecast for the coming months indicating we may see below average rainfall and a less than average number of tropical cyclones along with hotter days and nights.

While residents in coastal North Queensland have proven time and time again that they are resilient people, with a forecast outlook as such it is easy for people to become complacent about the true risks we face each storm and cyclone season.

Remember Australia has had at least one cyclone cross the coast each year since accurate records commences. Not all property loss is caused by cyclones.

In March 2018 the Far North region bore the brunt of a significant weather system. It was not a cyclone or tropical low. It was a combination of factors which saw large amounts of moisture pushed onto the coast which resulted in significant rainfall over a period of days and weeks.

March rainfall totals in many regions were over 1500mm and more than twice the average monthly rainfall.

The culmination of this weather event saw major flooding in numerous communities from Cooktown to Rockhampton, resulting in isolation for days at a time and requiring the mobilisation of emergency crew and the declaration of a natural disaster in many area.

As a result of the heavy rainfall there were thousands of calls to Emergency Services and crews mobilised across the Far North.

Rising flood water combined with storm damage to houses resulted in evacuations and emergency repairs.

Now is the time to prepare your home, family and even your business for whatever may eventuate this storm and cyclone season.

Do not be complacent. Prepare now and avoid the panic and confusion that could follow when an event does occur.

For more details regarding how to prepare visit the QLD Government Emergency Management website or your local council website.

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