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Morayfield, QLD flood

Morayfield, QLD flood
A flooded road in Morayfield, QLD, in the aftermath of Cyclone Marcia in February 2015. Photo:
Release date
07 Feb 2018
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Dr Katharine Haynes
Alt Project Leader

Flood research highlighted

CRC research on floodwater-related deaths has been by showcased in ‘Stories of Australian Science’ magazine.

Research leader Dr Katharine Haynes, Macquarie University, says the deaths occur because people “don’t realise that the road may be washed away” or there is “debris in the water”.

The researcher says, “people think they’re in a big car that’s built to drive through floodwaters.”

Structural measures including better signage, lighting, road design as well as education will help assist people to make better decisions during floods.

“The most effective material is developed with people at risk themselves, so we’re going to work with those groups”, Dr Haynes says.

“A one-size-fits-all risk communication approach doesn’t work,” Dr Haynes says.

1,859 people died from floods between 1900 to 2015, almost half of whom were attempting to cross a bridge or a road.

The partnership analysed who is affected and when and why flood fatalities occur, with the research now being used to form part of a CRC-funded safety campaign carried out by the NSW State Emergency Service.

The research conducted by the partnership will target high-risk groups in the hope of preventing further fatalities.

Click here to download other stories from ‘Science in Public’ and download the PDF.

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