With more heavy rain forecast for Queensland later this week due to a tropical cyclone, Queensland Police has issued a timely reminder of the dangers of driving through floodwaters.
On Sunday January 21, a 41-year-old Winton man was fined $804 after allegedly being caught driving through flood waters in Corfield, north of Longreach.
Police will allege the driver passed two road closure signs and a physical barrier before the Toyota Hilux drove through flood-impacted Winton Jundah Road around 3.30pm.
The man was fined $619 for careless driving (without due care and attention) and $185 for disobeying a road access sign.
He was also issued six demerit points for both offences.
“If it’s flooded, forget it,” that’s the key message Queensland Police is trying to spread following this latest incident.
Commissioner Katarina Carroll said that with another tropical cyclone forming off the Queensland coast, it is a reminder to motorists not to drive through flood waters.
“You don’t know what kind of debris or objects could be lurking just under the surface,” she said.
“There is also a very good chance that the road’s structure has been undermined.
“It’s not worth risking your life or the lives of emergency services who come to rescue you.”
According to the latest tropical cyclone warning from the Bureau of Meteorology, issued at 11.10am this morning, the impacts are likely to begin for coastal and Island communities from Wednesday afternoon.
Watch zones are in play for Cairns to St Lawrence (not including Cairns), including Townsville, Mackay and the Whitsunday Islands.
“A tropical low (05U) has been developing slowly in the central Coral Sea and is expected to become a tropical cyclone overnight Tuesday or early Wednesday,” said the Bureau.
“This system is forecast to track southwest, towards the Queensland coast, over the next few days as it intensifies. The system is likely to cross the Queensland coast late Thursday between Cardwell and Airlie Beach as a Category 3 system.”
“In the longer term, the system is likely to track inland and south as a deep tropical low bringing heavy to intense rain to parts of central, western and southern Queensland.”
The Bureau added that heavy rainfall, which may lead to flash flooding, could develop about coastal areas between Townsville and St Lawrence from late Wednesday before spreading to adjacent inland areas and north to Cairns during Thursday and into Friday.
“Intense rainfall which may lead to dangerous and life-threatening flash flooding is possible near and south of the system, most likely with the coastal crossing during Thursday. A flood watch is also current for these areas,” the weather warning said.
“During Friday, the system is expected to become an inland rain depression and heavy rainfall may develop across central and southern Queensland from Friday and into the weekend as the system tracks inland and then south.”