Understanding Flood Classifications


if you live in a flood prone area it’s
important to know your risk and to understand how severe a flood is likely
to be. Riverine floods typically occur six or more hours after heavy rainfall,
in Australia we have three riverine flood classifications. Minor, moderate and
major. Minor flooding refers to inundation of low-lying areas next to
water courses, minor roads may be closed and low-level bridges submerged in urban
areas inundation may affect some backyards and buildings below the floor
level as well as bicycle and pedestrian paths for moderate flooding the area of
inundation is more substantial. Main traffic routes may be covered and some
buildings may be affected above floor level, evacuation of flood affected areas
and removal of stock may be required. Finally major flooding can be very
dangerous and may result in extensive inundation of rural and urban areas,
properties and towns are likely to be isolated and major traffic routes and
rail routes are likely to be closed. Evacuation of people from flood affected
areas may be required and utility services may be impacted, the bureau
produces warnings and advice to local communities who are experiencing or at
risk of experiencing riverine flooding. Flood watches provide early advice of a
developing situation that may lead to flooding, while flood warnings are issued
when floods are likely to occur or are already occurring. Sometimes short bursts
of heavy rainfall can lead to rapid onset flooding known as flash flooding,
when this is likely to occur, the bureau will issue a severe weather warning for
heavy rain that may lead to flash flooding. Current flood watches and
warnings as well as severe weather warnings can be found on our warnings
page, or the bom weather app. You can also access rainfall and River level
data, for around 3500 locations across Australia. Sadly fatalities are common
around flood waters, just 15 centimeters of water is enough to make your car
float, so remember the best way for you to stay safe is to stay out of flood
waters and to follow advice from your local emergency services.

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