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Floods and storms

Castlemaine Botanical Gardens flood

Storms can happen anywhere, at any time of the year. In Mount Alexander we are not immune to storms and floods. They are more common in Victoria from October to May, but it’s important to be prepared all year round.

Torrential rain, strong winds, large hailstones and lightning can cause flash flooding, unroof buildings and damage trees or power lines. Australia’s greatest costs, in terms of insured losses, are caused by storms. Severe storms can cause trees and branches to fall across roads, on cars and buildings.

Contact council to report a fallen tree on 03 5471 1700 or lodge a service request.

Flood Emergency Plan

The Municipal Flood Emergency Planning Committee (MFEPC) is currently reviewing the Municipal Flood Emergency Plan. Once completed, a copy of the plan will be made available for the public.

Local Flood Guides

The Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES) has developed flood guides (for residents and business owners) for Newstead and Castlemaine, Chewton and Campbells Creek townships to explain local flood risks for communities at risk and advise on how to prepare for and respond to flood events.

Read or download the guides:

SES Local Flood Guide 2017 - Castlemaine, Campbells Creek and Chewton (PDF, 5.7MB)
SES Local Flood Guide 2017 - Newstead (PDF, 4.5MB)

What to do before a storm

Ensure you do the following before a severe storm arrives:

• Check that loose items such as outdoor settings, umbrellas and trampolines are safely secured.
• If it is safe to do so, check gutters, driveway crossovers, downpipes and drains are not blocked.
• Park your car undercover and away from trees.

What to do during a storm

Ensure you do the following during a severe storm:

• Stay indoors and away from windows.
• If outdoors, shelter away from drains, gutters, creeks and waterways.
• Be prepared for power outages.
• Floodwater is dangerous – never drive, walk or ride through floodwater.
• Floodwater is toxic – never play or swim in floodwater.

What to do after a storm

Ensure you do the following after a severe storm:

• Check your home and property for damage.
• Keep clear of damaged buildings, powerlines and trees.
• Be aware of road hazards such as floodwater, debris and damaged roads or bridges.
• Do not drive through affected areas unless it is necessary.

If flooding occurs

• Avoid driving or walking through floodwaters. If you must enter floodwaters, wear solid shoes, not thongs or bare feet, and check the depth and current with a stick
• Stay away from drains, culverts and water that are more than knee-deep
• Floodwaters may contain sewage, take precautions when cleaning up flooded areas.
• Stay away from fallen powerlines – electrical current passes easily through water
• If your car stalls in rising water, abandon it immediately and seek shelter above floodwater
• Be aware that animals may enter your house during a flood, such as spiders and snakes to find a drier area
• Wait for rescuers to come for you, avoid swimming to safety
• If outdoors, climb to high ground and stay there
• Keep listening to a local radio station for information and advice
• Keep in contact with your neighbours where possible
• Be prepared to leave early if required

In the event of major flooding in the municipality, Council will provide recovery information in the Current Emergencies section on our website.

For a flood and storm emergency call VICSES on 132 500.

For life threatening emergency call 000.

For more information on preparing for flood and storms visit the SES website.

Advice and road closures due to flooding

Visit the 2022 flood information page to stay up to date with current road closures.

Useful resources to stay safe during and after a storm or power outage

The Victorian State Government provides useful information for people managing the impact of floods through the Better Health Channel website. Useful pages include:

Emergencies - floods - provides information on what to do, personal hygiene, avoiding contamination, cleaning up, where to get help and more.

Sewage overflows at home - provides information on advice, clean-up procedures, where to get help and things to remember.

Mould and your health - provides information about mould growth after flooding, where to get help and the effects of mould.

Guide to power outages - how to stay safe during a power outage.

The Victorian State Government has also compiled community information sheets to provide additional information and advice:

After a flood: returning home safely - precautions to take to reduce the possibility of injury, illness or disease.

Food safety after a power failure - avoid getting sick from food following a power outage.

After a flood: mould and your health - how to reduce the risk of mould related illnesses.

Removing mould at home - tips on removing mould from your property.

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