Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

Flood of Calls a Cause for Alarm

Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

Flood of Calls a Cause for Alarm

Article excerpt

ANDREW

GALE

from AG Licensing

I READ the plea from Warwick police last week to not ring them to ask for flood conditions when that information is easily available on various websites and purposed phone numbers. It reminded me of the same sorts of events we used to experience when I was stationed in the Mount Isa Police District a few years ago.

I feel sorry for them but I suppose, like me, a lot of people were taught if you need a hand in a crisis, call the local policeman.

My little station was perched along the Flinders Hwy, halfway between nowhere and the back of beyond.

Although it was almost a desert, the nature of the country up there, flat and full of flood channels, was such that it would flood every time it rained anywhere within about a 500km radius.

As such, any time between December and April, the highway would close at a moment's notice.

Sometimes it was for days, varying between two dozen different spots on "my" 160-odd kilometres of highway, let alone the countless other places it would flood that were off the bitumen.

Working out the topography and watersheds of the area was quite difficult at first, with a maze of tributaries flowing this way and that off the mighty Flinders River.

It was not unusual to watch the river running "uphill" as it back-flooded up the various channels, and branches and bayous, then downhill again a few hours or days later as the Flinders peaked and settled back down.

When the river crossed, and blocked the highway at this place or that, (sometimes up to 140km from town, but before the next little dot on the map), the local council or Main Roads guys would dutifully put out the road closed signs at the edges of town.

The tourists would then dutifully drive up to the signs and seeing no water over the road, would then drive east or west until they came across the impasse. …

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