Victoria SES advice for returning home after flooding as toxic water, snakes, threaten residents

Victoria SES advice for returning home after flooding as toxic water, snakes, threaten residents

While thousands of Victorians prepare for another day of flooding, the SES is urging residents to plan ahead for returning home. Picture: NCA NewsWire / David CroslingSource:News Corp Australia

As thousands of Victorians evacuate ahead of major flooding on Saturday, the state’s emergency services are urging residents to think ahead, with other risks waiting for them once the waters recede.

Everyone in the Traralgon Creek area has been ordered to evacuate and travel to a safe location away from the flooding, with up to 15mm forecast for the catchment during the day.

But, sewage, asbestos, mosquitoes, snakes and live powerlines are among the biggest risks waiting for flood victims in the clean-up.

The Victoria SES is on standby to assist during the flooding and the aftermath but a spokesman said everyone had their own role to play once the dangers had passed.

Victoria SES advice for returning home after flooding as toxic water, snakes, threaten residents

An emergency warning has also been issued for Melbourne’s outer east with rising water levels likely to cause major flooding of the Yarra River at Yarra Glen.Source:Supplied

“After the flooding has stopped, everyone can stay safe by avoiding dangerous hazards such as floodwater, mud, debris, damaged rooves and fallen or damaged trees and powerlines which may still be present,” the SES spokesman said.

“Drive slowly, obey all road signs and never drive through flood water. It can take just 15cm of water to flood a car.

“Don’t enter damaged or flooded buildings until authorities advise that it is safe to do so.”

Some buildings may have asbestos-containing materials, so authorities say it’s important to take “all necessary precautions” when handling debris.

Flooding can also cause sewage overflow and mould growth, which needs to be cleaned up before moving back into a flooded home.

Victoria SES advice for returning home after flooding as toxic water, snakes, threaten residents

The Victorian SES has issued advice for residents returning home after the risk of flooding has passed. Picture: NCA NewsWire / David CroslingSource:News Corp Australia

Wild animals including rodents, snakes or spiders may be trapped in and around your home, and authorities advise people to wear sturdy, waterproof boots and rubber or leather gloves while moving around during clean-up.

Pets and other animals left behind in the evacuation may have died and will need to be removed.

The SES said any contaminated sand bags needed to be disposed of carefully and never reused.

“Drinking water can be contaminated, so seek out information to confirm whether it is safe to consume,” the SES spokesman said.

“And if your home has been flooded, have all utilities such as gas and electricity professionally tested before use.

“Remember flood water is toxic.”

Victorian health authorities say that children and pets should be kept away until the clean up is completed, due to the risk of drowning, illness and skin infections.

Better Health Victoria say health and safety risks of floodwaters include:

  • Risk of drowning, or injury from sharp objects and other physical hazards;
  • Risk of electrical shock from downed power lines;
  • Illness if floodwaters contain faecal material from overflowing sewage systems and agricultural waste, or chemicals from industrial wastes;
  • Skin infections from contact of open wounds with contaminated floodwaters;
  • Tetanus from tetanus bacteria in soil, dust or manure entering through a break in the skin; Mosquitoes growing in water and some types can transmit mosquito-borne disease.
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