Community flood advice

The prolonged, intensive rain on October 7-8 has caused flooding in some areas of Warrnambool and Allansford.

Council staff are working to check and clear drains, repair roads and have installed signage advising residents and motorists of any water hazards.
The gates in the Russells Creek flood walls have been installed and will remain in place while water levels remain high and further rain is forecast.
Pedestrians are advised to avoid the Russells Creek trail.
Please take care on the roads.
Floods present many potential health hazards, for which Council refers the community to the following DHHS factsheets and information:
After a flood: animal and insect related hazards: Be aware that wild animals, including rodents, snakes or spiders, may be trapped in your home, shed or garden;
After a flood: returning home safely: When returning to your home after a flood, take precautions to reduce the possibility of injury, illness or disease.
After a flood: mould and your health: Flooding can contribute to the growth of mould in your home, which may be a health risk for you and your family. When returning to your home/business, be aware of any visible mould or a musty smell. The key to preventing mould growth is to clean up and dry out the house as quickly as possible (within 48 hours). Before you plan your clean-up, remember that not everyone is suited to working in damp, potentially mouldy conditions.
Personal hygiene is essential during floods: A number of infectious diseases, i.e. gastrointestinal infections and hepatitis A, can spread through contact with contaminated surfaces, as these may contain faecal material (poo) from overflowing sewage systems, agricultural or industrial wastes. Never use contaminated water to wash dishes, brush your teeth, wash your hands, wash and prepare food, make ice or make baby formula.
Always wash your hands with soap and safe water (that has been boiled or disinfected):
  • before preparing or eating food
  • going to the toilet
  • after clean-up activities
  • after handling articles contaminated with floodwater or sewage.
  • If boiled or disinfected water is not available, you can use alcohol-based products to disinfect your hands.
If you have any open cut or sore that has been exposed to floodwater:
  • Keep it as clean as possible by washing with soap and covering with a plaster.
  • Contact a doctor for further treatment advice (such as a tetanus shot).
  • If redness, swelling or discharge occurs, seek immediate medical attention.
  • Parents need to help their children avoid waterborne illness. Tips include:
  • Do not allow children to play in floodwater areas.
  • Wash children’s hands frequently (always before meals).
  • Do not allow children to play with flood-damaged toys contaminated with floodwater, until they have been disinfected.
Food supplies may be contaminated: Floodwaters can affect food through direct contact or, indirectly, by causing interruptions to power supplies, affecting local refrigeration.
Throw away:
  • food that has come into direct contact with floodwater
  • any food that has an unusual odour, colour or texture
  • perishable foods (including meat, poultry, fish, eggs or leftovers) that have been left at above 5 °C for more than four hours
  • canned food if the can is open, bulging or damaged
  • food containers with screw caps, snap-lids, crimped caps (soft drink bottles), twist caps, flip-top lids and home-canned foods.
For cleaning cans that are still sealed, not bulging and intact, but have come into contact with floodwater:
  • Remove the labels.
  • Wash the cans.
  • Dip them in a solution of 1.5 cups of household chlorine bleach mixed into 10 litres of water (a household bucket) for two minutes.
  • Re-label the cans with a waterproof marker pen
If the power is on, refreeze or cook food that has thawed but contains ice crystals and is below 4 °C. If the power is off, store food safely by:
  • keeping the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible.
  • adding block or dry ice to your refrigerator if the power is likely to be off for longer than four hours. Wear gloves when handling ice.
/Public Release. View in full here.

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