Australia – Floods in Tasmania Force More Evacuations as Death Toll Rises

Tasmania State Emergency Service (SES) say that the state has experienced some of the worst flooding in at least 40 years, with record rain falls and record river heights recorded in some locations.

At least 2 people have died in the floods in Tasmania since 05 June. The search for two people still missing in the floods continues. Several days of storms and flooding earlier this week left 2 people dead in New South Wales and caused one fatality near Canberra.

SES say that major flooding is occurring in the South Esk, Macquarie and Meander Rivers, with widespread localised flooding across the state.

More than 100 roads have been closed and authorities have urged people to avoid all non-essential travel.

Around 80 properties have been flooded. A number of people have been evacuated from their properties in the communities of Latrobe, Ouse, Newstead, the Meander Valley and more recently Invermay.

SES say they have responded to over 350 call outs since Sunday 05 June. Police say that emergency teams have been involved in over 100 flood rescues.

Two Dead, 2 Missing in Tasmani Floods

Police in Tasmania said earlier today that the body of a woman trapped in her flooded home in Latrobe on 06 June has now been found. Police search and rescue officers had to wait until floodwaters receded in order for the property to be safely searched. The woman’s husband survived after he managed to climb onto the roof of the property and rescue teams could airlift him to safety.

Tasmania police say that 2 other people are still missing in the floods. A man was swept away by flood waters outside his home in Ouse. Tasmania Police say they continue to hold grave concerns for the missing man. The flood waters surrounding the property where the man was swept away have started to abate, however the area is still significantly affected by flood waters. The search continues and police are utilising police search and rescue specialists, marine police and SES staff and volunteers.

A further missing person has been reported in Evandale. A man, and his female companion, were delivering newspapers when their vehicle became engulfed by floodwaters late on 06 June. The woman was rescued by the Westpac Rescue Helicopter earlier today. The rescue helicopter, and land based searchers, are still looking for the man.

Police and emergency teams also had to carry out a dramatic rescue from Schouten Island near Coles Bay this morning after a boat carrying 6 men was swamped in heavy seas yesterday afternoon.

Rivers and Rainfall

After a period of torrential rain between 05 and 06 June, with some areas seeing over 200mm in 24 hours, Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) announce major flood alerts for 7 of the state’s rivers.

Conditions have since eased but, as of 15:00 local time 07 June, major flood warnings remain in place for the Macquarie, Meander and South Esk rivers, and moderate flood warnings for the Mersey, North Esk and Derwent rivers.

Tasmania SES say that major flooding is occurring in the South Esk, Macquarie and Meander Rivers, with widespread localised flooding across the state.

Eight flood gates have been closed on the eastern side of the Invermay/Inveresk levee system and three others at Longford.

The heavy rain appears to have eased off yesterday, although a few areas reported 24 hour rainfall figures of over 50mm between 06 and 07 June, including Gray (51mm), Nunamara (64mm), Nugent (86mm), Orford (71mm) and Maydena (57mm).

Flood Summary

Last updated: July 13, 2016
Event
South East Australia, June 2016
Date
June 4 to June 8, 2016
Type
Coastal flood, Inland flood, River flood
Cause
Extreme rainfall
Storms that began on 04 June resulted in strong winds, high surf and heavy rain across south east Australia. 4 people died in floods in Tasmania. Two victims died in New South Wales, and one other victim in Canberra, ACT. The storms caused some coastal erosion and flooding in NSW.

Locations

A - Invermay
B - Latrobe
C - Ouse

Magnitude

Rainfall level
165 mm in 24 hours
Turramurra, New South Wales
Rainfall level
193 mm in 24 hours
Mount Victoria, Tasmania

Damages

Fatalities
4 people
Tasmania
Fatalities
2 people
New South Wales
Fatalities
1 person
Australian Capital Territory