The Mackay Local Government area is subject to extreme rainfall between the months of November and May. Due to the short, intense nature of events and the close proximity of the Pioneer River catchment, it places the City and surrounding communities in an extremely vulnerable position. At times, this may result in mass evacuations of the community. Scroll to the bottom of the page for Seaforth, Haliday Bay and Ball Bay flood maps.
Along with high winds and flooding rains, cyclones produce storm surges, (a raised dome of water) stretching up to 100kms long, 50kms wide and typically 2 – 5 metres higher than the normal tide level. All cyclones produce storm surges but not all are dangerous. If the surge occurs at the same time as a high tide then the area inundated can be quite extensive, particularly in low-lying areas.
Your Emergency Kit should have:
- Battery-operated radio (with spare batteries)
- Torch (spare batteries)
- Candles, lighter and waterproof matches
- First Aid Kit
- Combination pocket knife
- Portable stove with fuel
- Cooking utensils
- Water in sealed containers (30L per person)
- Toiletry and sanitary supplies
- Change of clothes and strong shoes
- Tent or tarpaulin and blankets
- Pet food, water and other animal needs
- Special needs for infants, the aged and people with disabilities
- Canned food – enough for 3-4 days (can opener)
- Personal Documents – insurance, certificates, photographs, prescription repeats etc.
- Strong plastic bags
- Emergency phone numbers
- Insect repellant and sunscreen
- Cordless phones require electricity to operate. Retain a line phone to reconnect if power is lost.
- 1 packet of plastic strips
- 1 stainless steel scissors
- 1 roll of non-allergic tape
- 2 square gauze swabs
- 2 sterile eye pads
- 1 bottle antiseptic cream
- 4 triangular bandages
- 1 wound closure steri-strip
- 1 conforming gauze bandage
- 1 bottle antiseptic solution
- 1 sterile combine dressing
- 5 alcohol swabs
- 15 safety pins in a bag
- 2 pair of disposable gloves
If flooding is predicted
- Listen to your radio
- Heed all warnings and advice
- Move as many household items as possible including cardboard boxes and newspaper items, to the highest possible point
- Pile furniture on beds and personal items on to the furniture
- Remove all drawers from built-ins
- Tie down loose items in your yard, to prevent them from floating away
- Ensure all chemicals that may react with water are within a water-proof container and are moved to a higher level
- Gas cylinders and gas bottles should be disconnected and tied down or moved to above flood height
- Close the mains water valve
- If driving, be sure of the depth of the waters before driving through it, refrain from driving if possible
- Place a can of water displacement spray in your vehicle for the engine
- Advise your children not to play around drains, watercourses or running water. Even shallow water can pose a danger to life.
If flooding occurs
- Have your emergency evacuation kit on hand and listen to the radio for official advice
- Switch OFF electricity and gas if you leave home
- Don’t drink flood water
- Avoid entering flood waters on foot or in a vehicle.
After the flood
- If you have to evacuate don’t return home until advised, then use the route recommended
- Do not eat food, which has been in contact with flood water
- Boil all tap water until supplies have been declared safe
- Do not use gas or electrical appliances, which have been flood-affected, until they have been checked for safety by qualified personnel
- Beware of snakes, crocodiles and spiders, which may move to drier areas
In your house
- Avoid wading, even in shallow water, as it may be contaminated
- If you must enter flood water, wear solid shoes and check the depth with a stick
- Check with the Disaster Coordination Centre or police for safe routes before driving anywhere
- Do not go sightseeing.
Do you have to go?
Once an evacuation order has been issued, Police and Emergency Services have the authority to remove you from the Evacuation Zone.
Storm surge inundation on maps
The maps below have been prepared, based on Australian Height Datum and approximate storm surge inundation limits, depending on the severity of the cyclone and the time it crosses the coast. They are for Seaforth, Haliday Bay and Ball Bay. The colours are at 0.5 metre intervals above “Highest Astronomical Tide” (King Tide). The Local Disaster Management Group recommends that you find alternative shelter from storm surge inundation by checking with relatives or friends on higher ground. If an evacuation is ordered, the colour will be broadcast over the radio.
- Green Indicates areas at highest risk (waters will rise up to 0.5 metres above Highest Astronomical Tide – HAT). There is up to a 5 per cent chance of this occurring in any year.
- Red Indicates areas at signifi cant risk (up to 1 metre above HAT). There is a 1 per cent chance of this occurring in any year.
- Orange Indicates areas at high risk (up to 2 metres above HAT). There is a 0.2 per cent chance of this occurring in any year.
- Brown Indicates areas at moderate risk (up to 3 metres above HAT). There is less than 0.1 per cent chance of this occurring in any year.
- Yellow Indicates areas at moderate risk (up to 4 metres above HAT). There is less than 0.1 per cent chance of this occurring in any year.
- Blue Indicates areas at low risk (up to 6 metres above HAT). There is less than 0.1 per cent chance of this occurring in any year.
All of this information and more can be found here in the Mackay Emergency Action Guide.