Storm damage in the South Burnett last year (Photo: Damien Tessmann)

December 1, 2017

The State Emergency Service says new figures point to a rise in the potential for severe weather in the Wide Bay Burnett region.

Area Controller Jenny Millers said SES volunteers would be out in force during the storm season helping the community prepare for and respond to severe weather events.

Ms Millers said volunteers had spent recent months honing their skills and pre-filling sandbags and would be actively passing on storm preparation tips to locals.

“Storm season has started in the Burnett. We only need to think back to October when heavy rainfall inundated Monto, flooding the landscape, damaging properties and wiping out crops,” she said.

“It may be a sign of what to expect this season, with Burnett SES volunteers reporting a significant increase in flood-related requests for help in recent years.

“The number of flood-related callouts in the South Burnett more than doubled (last year) compared with the 2015 storm season, while North Burnett volunteers reported a 16 per cent increase.”

Ms Millers said the figures showed the Burnett could not afford to be complacent.

“Now is the time for residents to prepare themselves, their loved ones and properties in the event of severe weather,” she said.

“Something simple like clearing debris from gutters, removing overhanging branches and securing loose items in the yard can significantly increase the chance of dodging the worst of what Mother Nature has in store this storm season.

“During severe storms, it is not uncommon for gale-force winds to pick up loose items and toss them around like confetti.

“Backyard items like bicycles, trampolines, furniture and barbecues can quickly be hurled over the fence, turning them into deadly missiles.”

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