Novocastrians living and working in suburbs from Wallsend to Merewether can now sign up to receive free flood warnings that could potentially save lives.
The flood alert service is now being rolled-out across most of Newcastle following positive feedback in a successful trial among Wallsend residents in 2016.
As a result, seven new catchment areas have been added to the alert list. People can register to receive text messages, emails or voicemail alerts in these areas. Information about the flood alerts can be viewed online at www.newcastle.nsw.gov.au/floodalert.
The service aims to provide an early warning to residents and businesses based on three key risks:
· Flash flooding caused by intense heavy rainfall in urban areas
· Mainstream flooding caused by inundation when the Hunter River breaks its banks
· Ocean storm surges flooding in low-lying areas
Each warning carries a minor, moderate or major level of risk depending on the expected flood event likely to occur, and will also include a recommended action on how to respond.
City of Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the extension of the service would enable residents of low-lying areas to stay informed of local flooding in general.
"Flooding affects up to one third of all properties in Newcastle and it’s important for all residents to be aware of their flood risk – not just at home, but at work, school or other places you visit frequently," the Lord Mayor said.
"Recent history tells us that flooding can occur in Newcastle very quickly and sometimes there can be less than an hour of warning between the beginning of a storm and the onset of flooding.
"Forewarned is forearmed and this alert service, delivered straight to people's fingertips, will help keep them informed about a possible flooding event and give them time to consider their options to stay safe.”
To learn more about this service and to sign up online for free flood alerts, visit Newcastle.nsw.gov.au/floodalert.