Northern Midlands

Flood Information

How the Flood Warning System Works

Don't wait for a flood to learn what to do. Know how the Flood Warning System works.

  • ABC Radio 91.7 FM - will provide regular advice and updates on the current situation during a flood.
  • If Tasmania Police and Council consider that Longford is at risk of major flooding and parts of the town must be evacuated, you will get a standby notice firstly from Council then told to leave your home by Tasmania Police.
  • Council staff monitor the warnings provided by the Bureau of Meteorology and also monitor river levels to predict the possible level of flooding.
  • The Bureau of Meteorology issues a flood watch when flood producing rain is expected to happen in the near future.
  • The Bureau issues a flood warning when flooding is occurring or is expected to occur.

There are three stages to a flood warning:

  • Minor Flooding - Low lying areas can be inundated which may require the removal of stock and equipment. Some roads may need to be closed.
  • Moderate Flooding - The evacuation of some houses may be required. Some traffic routes may be covered and roads closed.
  • Major Flooding - Properties are likely to be isolated and major traffic routes likely to be closed. Evacuation of people from the flood affected areas may be required.


Who To Contact For Current Flood Warnings

While Council will provide updates during a flood event within the municipality via media releases on ABC Radio 91.7 FM and on our website home page, it is also advisable to check the following links.

Bureau of Meterology for Weather and Warning Alerts information

Tasmanian Police for Community Alerts and Road Closures

Erection Timing for the Longford Flood Levee Barriers

Union Street: If the River is forecasted to peak at a height of 6.7metres or above.

Lyttleton Street: If the forcast peak is a height of 7.3 metres or above.

Tannery Road: The height of the main entrance into Longford is 7.7 metres. Council will have the flood protection barrier prepared for erection if the flood is forcast to peak at over 7.3 metres but will wait as long as possible before closing the entrance to the town.

Archer Street: If the river is forecast to peak at a height of 8.3 metres or above.

The actual height of these above mentioned flood levee opening is 0.4 to 0.5 metres higher than the levels at which the flood barriers will be erected.

In some circumstances Council may choose to install the barriers at lower river heights than those shown above, for example, if the river is expected to peak at night or if it is difficult to be certain about the expected height of the river.

Evacuation Centres

If you are going to self evacuate and stay with friends or family during a major flood event, please register your location with the Red Cross by calling 1800 246 850. If you are unable to stay with friends or family, you should go to an evacuation centre. Help available at evacuation centres includes:

~Temporary Accommodation
~Financial Assistance
~Personal Support
~Refreshments and meals
~Clothing and personal needs
~Arranging contact with family and friends

Evacuation Centers are located at the Longford Town Hall, Wellington Street and the Campbell Town, Town Hall in High Street . Directional signage will be displayed at these sites during a flood event.

Longford Flood Alternative Access Plan

During flooding events at Longford there are alternative routes for residents to enter or leave the town in vehciles. The three routes and the location of the flood levee gate on Tannery Road are shown on the colour-coded map below (Click the map for a larger view)

Alternative Road Route 1 (green):
While Illawarra Road is open, vehicles can travel out of Longford via Wilmores Lane (turn opposite Austral Bricks) then turn right along Bishopsbourne Road to Illawarra Road, and turn right to Perth.

Alternative Road Route 2 (purple):
When Illawarra road is closed west of Longford entrance, vehicles can travel out of Longford via Wilmores Lane (turn opposite Austral Bricks). Turn right along Bishopsbourne Road to Illawarra Road, then turn left along Illawarra Road to the Bass Highway.

Alternative Road Route 3 (orange):
When Illawarra Road is closed (both east and west of Longford entrance), vehicles can travel out of Longford via Wilmores Lane (turn opposite Austral Bricks), turn right along Bishopsbourne Road to Carrick then to the Bass Highway.

Tannery Road Flood Gate is shown in yellow

Longford Flood Alternative Access Plan

Travel in Flood Conditions

  • The majority of flood-related deaths in Australia are a result of inexperienced people entering flood waters either in boats, vehichle or on foot. Avoid entering floodwater on foot or by vehicle, it may be deeper or faster flowing than you think, manhole covers may have come off and floodwaters contain hidden snags and debirs.
  • Don't walk on the riverbanks or across bridges if possible. They may have been damaged and might even collapse.
  • Don't swim in flood water - it is usually contaminated and often contains hidden snags, strong currents and other hazards.
  • Avoid wading, even in shallow water, for the above reasons.
  • If you must enter shallow water, wear rubber shoes or gumboots to protect feet. Don't proceed beyond waist depth unless absolutely necessary (and only if there is no obvious current).
  • Keep in contact with other people. Do things in pairs, do not go anywhere alone.
Important! Flood water is dangerous
  • Avoid wakling or driving through it.
  • Keep children and vulnerable people away from it.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly if you touch it.
  • Never drink flood water in any circumstances, it may contain hazardous substances which can harm you.

Emergency Flood Kit - What you will need

Your emergency flood kit shoud be kept in a waterproof storage box. Check your kit contents regulary and restock any out-of-date itmes such as batteries. Items suggested are:
  • A food kit filled with foods that do not need to be refrigerated. Make sure it includes bottles water.
  • Baby food and baby care items (e.g. nappies, if applicable)
  • A list of emergency telephone numbers (see below)
  • A first aid kit with essential medications
  • Your mobile phone and charger
  • A portable radio with spare batteries tuned to ABC 91.7FM
  • candles and waterproof matches
  • Torch with spare batteries
  • Rubber gloves
  • Toiletries and toilet paper
  • Alcohol wipes adn anti-bacterial gel
  • Children's activiteis such as colouring books, pens and pencils (if applicable)
  • A waterproof bag for clothing and valuables
  • Important papers (including insurance documents), bank books, money and credit cards
  • Valuables adn cherished articles (Jewellery, photos, etc)

Essential Items
  • Warm, waterproof clothing and change of clothing
  • Blankets/sleeping bag
  • Rubber shoes and or gumboots
  • Pet food (if applicable)
  • Hats, sunscreen
  • Camping stove or small bbq

Important Telephone Numbers
Service General Enquires Emergency Number
Tasmanian Police 131 444 000
State Emergency Service(SES) 03 6336 3790 132 500
Ambulance 1800 008 008 000
Tasmanina Fire Service (TFS) 1800 000 699 000
Red Cross 1800 246 850  
Aurora Energy 1300 132 003  
Tas Gas 1802 111  
Bureau of Meteorology 1300 659 216  
Northern Midlands Council 6397 7303 0418 573 389

Important Information in Comparing Historic Flood Levels

In comparing flood heights be aware the hydrological "landscape" of the South Esk River has changed significantly over the last 80 years. There is argument to suggest the volume of water in the 1969 flood was greater than the 1929, but the depth of flooding lower. This is just one of many complications in reading the record - depth or rainfall, location of rainfall, type of storm, antecedent conditions, depth of flow prior to flooding, physical changes in the landscape (willow clearing or planting, levees), degree of flooding in the Macquarie and Meander Rivers, etc, all influence the flood behaviour for each and every event.

Basically, it is difficult to compare one event to another. However, we can say the three events of 2011 are in the top ten, and that is significant. It is also significant the Meander River was not in Minor flood during the two large March and August events, else flooding would most likely have been more severe.

Historic Flood levels - Longford Top 10 Floods

Year Date Time flood peaked Height (m)
1929 6/4/1929 0200 9.33
1969 1/6/1969 0400 7.95
2011 25/3/2011 1815 6.40
1970 13/6/1970 0500 6.05
1970 23/3/1970 1900 5.94
1974 9/7/1974 0300 5.91
2011 19/8/2011 2215 5.78
1978 6/6/1978 1300 5.47
2011 10/8/2011 1915 5.46
1956 25/5/1956 1700 5.44


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