Canberra emergency services face big clean-up after city cops a month’s worth of rain



February 26, 2018 09:52:49

Video: O’Connor residents count the cost of flood damage in their homes.

(ABC News)

Related Story:
Water ‘coming out of the cupboards’ as flash floods hit Canberra homes

Canberra’s emergency services were kept busy responding to 250 wet weather jobs on Sunday, as the territory copped a month’s worth of rain.

ACT Rural Fire Service Chief Officer Joe Murphy said crews worked tirelessly to complete all calls for help received last night, but were prepared for a busy few days as the clean-up continued.

He said he expected many more calls to come through today as Canberrans surveyed the damage from the 64 millimetres of rain that was dumped on the region from 9:00am on Sunday — much of which fell within the space of an hour.

The average rainfall for February at the Canberra Airport gauge is 56.4 millimetres, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

Mr Murphy said all of the jobs related to flooding.

“Mostly flooding [was] either through the roof or front door [of homes],” he said.

External Link:

Canberra Drivers tweet: car driving through flooded water

External Link:

ANU tweet: ANU Acton campus is closed Monday 26 February due to flooding.

“There’ll be a big mop up over next few days — a lot will be following up from people who said they don’t need help right now

ACT State Emergency Service Chief Officer Georgia Whelan said police undertook a number of rescues for people trapped in cars.

“And then it was general support and repair to homes with some fallen trees and other damage,” she said.

“We did have quite a surge of requests for support – I’m pleased to say we were able to respond o that in a timely manner.”

While the worst of the wet weather had passed, the Bureau of Meteorology has forecast between 8 and 15 millimetres to fall today, mostly in the morning.

Drier weather was tipped for the rest of the working week, with rain expected to return on Saturday.

The Australian National University sent out a statement on Sunday saying it would be closed today after a creek on the campus broke its banks.

But the rain was welcome relief for regional farmers in Goulburn and Braidwood, with dams filling from the downpour.

Floodwaters flow over a walkway and foot bridge.


Emergency services asked residents to only travel where it was entirely necessary. (Supplied: Jack Mohr)

North Canberra suffers worst damage

Residents in O’Connor were counting the cost of repairs as their homes flooded on Sunday afternoon.

One resident said by the time she and her partner saw the flood warning, it was already too late.

“When we looked out the window it had already flooded, and it came much quicker than we thought it would,” she said.

“It started coming out of the drains, it started coming out of the cupboards — we just couldn’t stop it.

A blue car and a silver car drive through flooded streets in Canberra.


Roads were almost unrecognisable on Canberra’s north side. (ABC News: Luke Stephenson)

“It was too fast, so we got out. We’ve got a little one, we don’t want to mess around.”

Another man, who moved into his home at the start of the month after relocating from Adelaide with his parter, was left devastated.

“I opened the door and the whole room just flooded,” he said.

External Link:

TCCS tweet: Northbourne Avenue southbound down to one lane.

“Unbelievable. Shattering, absolutely shattering. Certainly not how we’d like to spend our first few weeks here.”

A number of roads remain closed on Monday, with the list available at the ACT Government’s Transport Canberra and City Services website.

Mr Murphy urged motorists and pedestrians to keep clear of floodwater.






First posted

February 26, 2018 07:53:37