Floodwater Dangers

road closed sign on road

NEVER enter floodwater
The major cause of death during floods is by people entering floodwater. This includes driving, riding and walking through floodwater and children playing in floodwater.

The NSW SES advises people to NEVER enter floodwater.

Floodwater may be deeper and faster flowing than it appears and often contains hidden snags and debris.

Never drive, ride or walk through floodwater
A ‘road closed’ or a ‘road flooded’ sign means that road is unsafe to travel on. Find alternate ways which are free from floodwater or wait until the all clear is given for that road. It is safer to turn around than to enter floodwater.

If there is a flooded road which does not have a ‘road closed’ or ‘road flooded sign’, it is still unsafe to travel through floodwater.

Floodwater can also erode and wash away road surfaces leaving deep holes and uneven surfaces which cannot be seen.

Never drive ride or walk through floodwater – if it’s flooded, forget it.
During flash floods
In areas prone to flash flooding, leaving low-lying areas (homes and businesses) well before flash flooding begins (evacuation), is the best action to take, but only if it is safe to do so. If you are trapped by rising floodwater, seek refuge in the highest part of a sturdy building. Stay there and call 000 (triple zero) if you need rescuing.

Never play in floodwater
During and after flood events, we often see images in the media of children playing in floodwater – swimming, riding boogie boards, riding through and jumping into floodwater. This activity is highly dangerous and there have been deaths of children due to playing in floodwater.

Floodwater can contain things like rubbish, dead animals, sewage and other contaminants such as poisons. It is safer to stay clear of floodwater. It is not a place to play.

Never play in storm drains
In some areas, large volumes of fast flowing water can come and go very quickly, sucking in or trapping anyone who gets close to drains, pipes or grills. These places are dangerous to play near when flooding. They can be slippery, have strong suction and currents and can be very hard to get out of.

Never swim in flooded dams and weirs
Flooded dams and weirs are dangerous places to play, especially around outlets, overflows and spillways where churning water can knock people off their feet and pin them underwater.

Source: http://www.floodsafe.com.au/learn-more-about-floods/floodwater-dangers

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