THE Queensland Fire and Rescue Service is sending a strong message to all Central Highlands residents this storm and cyclone season: "If it's flooded, forget it."
The Queensland Government's new public education and advertising campaign this summer aims to discourage people from driving, walking, swimming or riding in floodwaters.
QFRS area commander for Emerald Steve Murray said firefighters across Central Queensland responded to 34 water-related incidents last storm and cyclone season and of these six occurred in the Central Highlands/Emerald area.
"In most cases, swift water rescue is completely preventable and I encourage all residents across Central Highlands to familiarise themselves with their local area and develop an understanding of where they could potentially be caught off-guard by floodwaters," Mr Murray said.
"We have a large catchment in the Central Highlands where good quantities of water flow swift and rise fast. Some motorists get caught on the wrong side of these fast-flowing streams, while others drive straight in.
"One of the main areas of concern is the Bedford Weir causeway, where emergency services have responded to many incidents over the past years."
Mr Murray said when the waters flowed down to the towns and caused local flooding, it was important people avoided walking near drains, culverts or causeways as it did not take much to slip or get pulled in.
"When the water starts to subside and the cleanup begins, we urge everyone to wear enclosed footwear as sharp steel, glass or even wildlife may be present," he said.
"Over the coming months firefighters will be heavily involved in promoting the flood safety message in local schools across central region.
"This will include targeting primary and high school students with messages about the dangers of playing near flooded drains and creeks.
"High school students, soon to get their provisional licences, will also be warned of the potential dangers of crossing floodwater by road."
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