After months of drought and bushfires, much of eastern Queensland and northern NSW are experiencing flash flooding with emergency services urging motorists: “If it’s flooded, forget it”.
The police are pretty serious about the current situation and warn motorists to “stay informed and be prepared”.
Monitor regular media sources, including the SES website, Police facebook pages, the Bureau of Meteorology website, Livetraffic.com in NSW, Road Conditions in Queensland as well as local TV and radio.
It’s important to remember the dangers flooded waters can pose, especially after bushfires in these regions.
Roads may be especially slippery from excessive erosion due to less leaf coverage in bushfire-ravaged areas.
Many roads may be closed and riders should be aware it is illegal to ignore road-closed signage.
Police can fine motorists hundreds of dollars for negligent driving if they attempt to cross flood waters and get stuck, requiring rescue.
But 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.
It’s just not worth it when a water crossing is flooded.
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.
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
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.
In the meantime, maybe just for the next few days think carefully about taking the bike out!