Floods

When floods occur across Australia, they cause millions of dollars damage every year. Flooding is a natural occurrence that inevitably happens from time to time in our river systems, natural drainage and constructed drainage systems. Floods can severely disrupt communities, causing loss of life, personal hardship, property damage, and agricultural and stock losses.

Much of Loddon Shire is a flood plain and therefore the impact of flooding within the Shire can be significant with up to 70% of the Shire being impacted during large scale flood events.

Flash flooding can also occur in any area at any time as a result of short bursts of heavy rain fall that cannot drain away quickly.

While floods can happen quickly, there are a number of things we recommend you consider when preparing for floods.

For further information about floods, please visit the SES Website

Flood-prone areas in Loddon Shire

Most of Loddon Shire is a flood plain and is therefore subject to flooding from time to time.  While engineering strategies have been implemented within some towns to reduce the impact of flooding, it is your responsibility to make sure you are prepared for the occurrence of flood.

If you are considering building in a flood prone area, you may be required to elevate the height of your home to ensure your home is better protected from flood.

Contact Council’s planning staff on (03) 5494 1200 for more information.

 

Flood types

Floods occur when water covers land, which is normally dry, and may result from prolonged or heavy rainfall or severe storms. People, who live near rivers, or in low lying areas, live with the greatest threat of floods.

All Victorian flood watches and warnings are available from the Bureau of Meteorology’s 24-hour automated Advisory Information Service on 1300 659 217 at the cost of a local call.

At the Bureau of Meteorology’s website you will find flood warnings and other observations, plus a full range of weather warnings and products.

For more information about floods visit Geoscience Australia.

Flood types defined:

Coastal/estuarine flooding is caused by river water being unable to flow into the sea due to high tides, natural blockages such as sandbars and/or storm surges resulting in flooding of adjacent land.

Flash flooding results from relatively short, intense bursts of rainfall. Flash floods pose the greatest threat to loss of life, as people are often swept away after entering flood waters on foot or in vehicles. This type of flood can result in significant property damage and social disruption.

Lacustrine flooding is caused by the water level in a lake exceeding capacity, resulting in the inundation of surrounding land.

Riverine flooding is caused by heavy or sustained rainfall resulting in a river or creek exceeding channel capacity resulting in the inundation of the adjacent floodplain.

Flood plains are designated as such due to their low-lying topographic qualities and are adjacent to rivers, creeks and human-made drainage channels. Rainfall extending from several hours to one or more days, can result in the inundation of these areas.

Storm surge is caused by low atmospheric depressions including cyclones at sea resulting in abnormally high sea levels along the coastline.

Tsunami is caused by strong seismic activity below the sea floor resulting in a large wave that can cause damage by inundation of low-lying coastal land.

 

Flood warning descriptors

The Bureau of Meteorology flood warnings are categorised as minor, moderate and major, with each requiring different responses and causing different social, economic and environmental impacts. Loddon Shire is susceptible to each of these three floods.

Minor flooding causes inconvenience with low-lying areas located next to water courses; requires the removal of livestock and equipment; minor roads may be closed and low level bridges submerged.

Moderate flooding may require evacuation of some homes; main traffic routes may be covered; the area of inundation is substantial in rural areas.

Major flooding causes inundation to extensive rural areas and considerable urban areas; properties and towns are likely to be isolated; major traffic routes are likely to be closed; numerous evacuations may be required.

Local flooding results from intense rainfall causing a high run-off of water.

 

 

 

History of floods in Loddon Shire

Flooding in this district is characterised by large expanses of slow moving water. Due to the extremely flat terrain, even minor flooding can inundate areas within the district.

 

Weather reports and flood warnings

Flood warnings are advised through ABC radio, news, internet and the Bureau of Meteorology.

All Victorian Flood Watches and Warnings are available from the Bureau of Meteorology’s 24-hour automated Advisory Information Service on 1300 659 217 at the cost of a local call.

If a flood warning is issued for your area, you can receive up-to-date information from the Bureau of Meteorology via the links below.

Victorian weather warnings

Radar images - click on the map for local details

Local rainfall and river conditions

ABC Bendigo 91.1 FM also provides weather forecasts for Victoria.

 

What to do before, during and after a flood

If you live in a flood prone area, you need to plan and prepare so that you are better able to cope before, during and after a flood. While emergency services such as SES may be available to assist you in the event of a flood, it is ultimately your responsibility to ensure the safety of your family and your property.

 

Before – prevent, prepare and decide

Prevent

You cannot prevent a flood occurring; however, there are things you can do to reduce the impact of a flood on you and your family. Is your house or business likely to flood? Will your home be cut off due to flood waters?

Have a list of emergency contact numbers ready to use.

Prepare

Prepare your property to reduce the impact of the flood waters. Make sure your emergency kit is up to date, check 'use by' dates on food and bottled water and replace if necessary.

Develop a well thought out flood plan involving everyone who lives in the house and make sure that you all agree on the plan. Understand the flood potential for various alert warnings.

Don’t forget part of your plan should be to have sand bags on hand.

Decide

Will you leave your property early if your area is being evacuated or will you stay? Make this decision with everyone in your house.

 

During – respond

Put your flood plan into action. If you have received warnings that flooding is about to happen, if your decision is to leave your home, then do so if it’s not too late. If your plan is to stay, then take action.

Some things to do – turn off electrical appliances, stack things on higher furniture such as beds and cabinets, remove food from the refrigerator and open the refrigerator door.

Personal Safety

In the interests of community safety, the SES suggests the following precautions:

  • If your property has been flood affected check your home or buildings for damage before you enter
  • If your building has been flooded, all electrical and gas appliances should be checked by a licensed technician before you use them
  • Flood waters are dangerous
  • Flood waters may be toxic
  • Don't walk, ride or drive through flood water
  • Don't allow children to play in flood water
  • Stay away from waterways and storm water drains
  • Keep well clear of fallen power lines

 

After – recover

Whether you or your community have been directly affected by a flood, you may require assistance afterwards. Many services are available to you, depending on the severity of the flood, and you can call Council on (03) 5494 1200 for information on services.