Police have issued a warning to motorists not to cross flooded roads and even to be on the lookout for crocs.
And they don’t mean those Crocs shoes or crocodile-skin motorcycle seats!
Heavy rain and flash flooding are expected on the Queensland and northern NSW coasts in the next couple of days.
Police and emergency services have reiterated their call: “If it’s flooded, forget it”.
Riders are particularly vulnerable to being swept away in fast-flowing creek crossings.
Police say they will fine motorists hundreds of dollars for negligent driving if they attempt to cross flood waters and get stuck, requiring rescue.
But there is also a unique problem for riders in Far North Queensland … crocs!
With North Queensland well-known ‘croc country’ police near Tully came across a crocodile sitting near the middle of the road last night. Officer’s fortunately were able to avoid the animal however with heavy rains still falling from ex-tropical cyclone Owen wildlife can be expected to be displaced and may wander onto roadways.
If you think hitting a roo is a problem, try tangling with a croc!
You may have crossed this particular crossing before and think that the water is just a little higher than normal. However, there could be a sink hole underneath and you could lose your bike and then be swept away in the fast-running waters.
Flooded water is unpredictable. Is the level still rising, how fast is the water flowing, is it flowing at different rates in different parts of the crossing, is a sudden surge of more water on its way, what objects have been washed down and are now submerged underneath such as barbed wire?
There are too many unknowns.
Don’t be that idiot that goes playing in flooded waters and ends up losing their bike, forcing emergency services personnel to risk their lives trying to save you.
That was my mistake
One of my water crossing failures was in a low-flooded causeway. I was riding a big Yamaha Super Tenere through on the clear wheel tracks but the water was flowing faster where there was a gap in the weeds upstream.
Even though it was a low level and the bike substantial, the water velocity was enough to push my front wheel slightly off track, into the slime and down I went.
I was lucky not to be swept off the causeway into the fast-running creek.
It was a stupid thing to do and I acknowledge that.
After the storms have passed and the skies turn blue, there will be an enormous temptation this weekend to go out and play in the waters.
However, flood waters can take a lot of time to subside, so remain vigilant and cautious.