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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Anna Bligh

    Queenslanders urged to prepare for a very wet Christmas

    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Anna Bligh

    Wednesday, December 22, 2010

    Queenslanders urged to prepare for a very wet Christmas

    Premier Anna Bligh has today urged Queenslanders to prepare for the wettest Christmas in recent years and to do their part to ensure the festive season is free of tragedy.

    Ms Bligh said Queensland was bracing itself for more heavy downfalls, with areas in Central and Northern Queensland most at risk from torrential rains and floods.

    “The Bureau of Meteorology predicts torrential rain across a wide area of the state,” Ms Bligh said.

    “We will be watching a low off the Queensland Coast as well as another developing in the Gulf which will bring significant rainfall over the next four to eight days.

    “The Bureau also expects a weak trough to form over south-east Queensland tomorrow night which will bring more rain.

    “Early modelling indicates up to 300mm of rain between Cairns and Rockhampton over two days, with the possibility of falls of up to 500mm over four days in the Innisfail-Mackay region.

    “But the biggest threat is in Central and Northern Queensland with many areas already saturated and facing the serious prospect of widespread flooding.

    “With Christmas a time to spend safely with family and friends, it is absolutely vital for Queenslanders to be prepared and to take precautions to ensure a happy Christmas does not end in disaster.

    “The recent big wet has already taken a tragic toll and we need to do everything we can to not add to that.

    “Tragically, there have been 20 flood-related deaths over the past two storm seasons. Most if not all of those were preventable.”

    Premier Bligh said she urged Queenslanders to take notice of four key warnings.

    ·If travelling, secure your home, lock up outdoor furniture, toys and any other potential projectiles

    ·Take care in heavy downfalls when driving

    ·Do not drive across flooded areas

    ·Do not let children play near drains

    Emergency Services Minister Neil Roberts also asked those in at-risk areas to secure their homes and those who were travelling to take extra precautions.

    “Road conditions can change rapidly and water can rise and fall quickly,” Mr Roberts said.

    “Even shallow, quick-flowing water is strong enough to sweep a person off their feet or a vehicle into flood waters.

    “Motorists should always obey road closure signage – Police can prosecute those who ignore these warnings.

    “Travellers should also take enough food, water and bedding in case they become stranded by floodwaters.

    “Floodwaters are dangerous and deadly, with five deaths recorded so far during the recent flooding events.

    “Queensland Fire and Rescue Service swift water technicians have been involved in 32 rescues in the past week – 12 of them in the past two days.

    “Many of these rescues would not have been necessary if people took the threat of floodwaters a little more seriously.”

    Media contact – Premier: 0732244500

    Minister Roberts: 3239 0199