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.