Warning: prepare safely for higher water levels
Goulburn-Murray Water is encouraging people who live or farm on floodplains to prepare their properties in the wake of recent and forecast heavy rain.
Water storages, including Lake Eildon, are also close to capacity.
In a flood event, Victorian State Emergency Service is the lead agency, however, there are some regulations regarding works people can undertake on farm dams and channels on their property that G-MW enforces.
G-MW’s Martina Cusack said it was important people consider these regulations when preparing for floods.
“During flood events, the changes people make to farm dams and channels can affect water flows and change conditions downstream,” Ms Cusack said.
“It is crucial people know what works are permitted and what works they need authorisation to undertake, both for their own safety and the safety of the community.” She said people should:
• Inspect and monitor their dam prior to flooding. Clear spillways and outlet pipes to help pass floodwater, and repair any cracks and other defects.
• Prepare to move machinery and livestock to higher ground.
• Contact G-MW’s 24-hour Emergency Line on 1800 064 184 if you have any concerns about the safety of your property. For flood or storm emergency assistance from the SES call 132 500. Ms Cusack said people should not:
• Pump any water on their property into G-MW irrigation or drainage channels unless they had a current pumping agreement and had gained approval from G-MW to commence pumping. This is to ensure that additional water pumped into these systems does not exceed the channel capacity and cause additional flooding.
• Cut their channel to remove water from their property. In a flood event, G-MW’s irrigation system may need to be locked to prevent water travelling down the system and flooding other landholders.
• Drive, walk or ride through floodwater.
People living, working, or holidaying near a floodplain, can also do the following to prepare:
• Develop a personalised flood emergency plan via http://www.ses.vic.gov. au/plan-and-stay-safe
• Check the Bureau of Meteorology’s website or the BOM Weather app to stay up-to-date with the latest weather forecasts and warnings.
• Stay up-to-date with the MurrayDarling Basin Authority’s weekly river report at the MDBA website.
• Check the VicEmergency website or app.