Redland City Council had procedures in place to ensure a quick response during the series of storms that occurred across the region during the Christmas-New Year period.
Although the storms occurred during Council’s traditional ‘shut down’ period, Council’s proactive approach meant many employees and resources were in place to deal with emergencies.
These types of events are common in our city at this time of year and our operational teams have refined processes and procedures over many years, allowing them to rapidly respond when an event like this impacts our city.
Many staff across multiple areas remain on either active duty or on call during the Christmas-New Year period to ensure the community continues to be provided a high level of service.
In response to the storms experienced over the days leading up to and including Christmas Day, many rostered and on call officers responded to the emerging situation and others cut short their leave to assist their teams and the community in this response.
Council teams responded to a variety of jobs, including fallen trees and branches, managing flooded roads, blocked drains and potholes, and ensuring that sewerage pump stations and treatment plants continued to operate.
This increased activity continued into New Year’s Day and the storm events that occurred over this period.
As all associated officers were already working on the clean-up and restoration of services across the city, they continued what they were doing and took on new jobs as they emerged, prioritising any high-risk matters.
Council also took a pre-emptive approach and made sandbags available from Nuway Landscape Supplies in Thornlands and Council depots on the islands after the Bureau of Meteorology predicted storms for the New Year period.
When one of the storms occurred on New Year’s Day, a public holiday, Council also opened a sandbag station at its Cleveland depot.
Although, initially, there were no bags available at this location as all rostered on-call officers were attending to high priority requests for assistance, the State Emergency Service (SES) was able to provide empty sandbags to the depot quite quickly.
At all stages during the event, Council had a store of prefilled sandbags available for any urgent requests from the SES.
Council officers have worked with Nuway to increase the service provision of sandbags during future weather events.
- Extending sandbag station hours at Nuway until 6pm daily, when needed.
- Increasing the sandbag limit per vehicle from six to 10, based on advice from the SES regarding the correct use of sandbags – 10 bags, with the use of plastic, will in most cases provide the necessary protection.
- Developing a traffic management plan to manage traffic flow and vehicle queuing along Cleveland-Redland Bay Road in front of Nuway.
Council will also continue to store pre-filled sandbags at Council’s South Street depot for operational or disaster management teams to access at any time.
Council encourages residents to monitor weather conditions and warnings in their area and obtain sandbags prior to any event where possible to do so.
These types of storm events and the severity of their impact are highly unpredictable.
Residents concerned about or experiencing water inundation from any rain event should call the SES in the first instance for guidance and assistance.
Any commercial operator performing work for residential premises, where there has been significant clean-up due to storm damage, is encouraged to contact Council to discuss a potential exemption as there are exemptions polices and guidelines in place.
Residents can keep up to date on emergency warnings and weather events via the Redlands Coast Disaster Dashboard at disaster.redland.qld.gov.au.
The site includes information on sandbags and sandbagging station locations.