03/09/2018 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 03/08/2018 23:55
Fire and Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford has declared a disaster situation in response to the flooding event occurring in North Queensland.
The disaster declaration was issued earlier today for the Hinchinbrook Shire Council Local Government area following flooding which has impacted homes around Ingham and Halifax.
Mr Crawford said the declaration of a disaster situation would ensure response agencies had the powers they needed to respond effectively to the flood.
'In a situation like this it is essential that our first responders can take actions to minimise and prevent loss of life, illness and injury, and property and environmental damage,' Mr Crawford said.
'This declaration of a disaster situation gives nominated police, fire, ambulance and health officers the powers they need to manage the situation as it evolves.
'Under these arrangements people and traffic may need to be directed from affected areas and evacuations may need to be undertaken, and the disaster declaration will ensure the appropriate actions can be taken if that situation arises.'
Mr Crawford urged residents to consider the safety of themselves, their loved ones, other members of the community and emergency responders.
'Reports and images from the impacted areas are showing serious disruption to the community,' he said.
'Homes and businesses have been inundated with water and roads have been cut.
'Emergency response crews are responding where needed, and more crews are available to assist the community when the flood waters start to recede and the damage is fully understood.
'When this happens, people may be tempted to move around their community, but I am urging people to stay safe and avoid any non-essential travel.
'While the disaster declaration gives our emergency response personnel extra powers, we want people to use their common sense and keep themselves and their loved ones out of dangerous situations.
'Listen to local authorities including police, fire and emergency services, local government and health professionals, and keep up to date with the weather situation through local media and the Bureau of Meteorology.
'Stay well away from flood-waters, which may contain debris and contamination, and as always remember: If it's flooded, forget it.'
For SES assistance call 132 500 and for life threatening emergencies, always call Triple Zero (000).
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