The floods that have ravaged parts of south east Queensland have claimed the life of one man and resulted in several evacuations and emergency rescues, including when a group of aged care residents were forced out of their homes. More than 200mm of rainfall fell overnight, causing flash floods.
Although most of the damage was done around The Sunshine Coast area, where flash flooding was prevalent (receiving 232mm of rain in a 24hour period on Thursday), Coolum and Nambour were also heavily hit.
According to a post on 7News.com.au, more than 320 requests were issued for State Emergency Service assistance,
“Parts of Coolum State School were also flooded, with accessibility issues causing some entrances to be closed and classes moved.
There are also hundreds of power outages and submerged roads.
A motorist was treated for minor injuries after their car was washed into floodwaters in the Mooloolah Valley, west of the Sunshine Coast, before midnight on Wednesday.”
Read more https://7news.com.au/news/qld/brisbane-weather-evacuations-flooding-as-200mm-deluge-hits-south-east-queensland-c-695538
The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) also issued a warning of more intense rainfall leading to life-threatening flash flooding after Brisbane Airport recorded 232mm in about 24 hours.
According to the BOM, the rest of Brisbane also received rainfall ranging from 60-100mm with the Gold Coast recording rainfall between 100-200mm.
Other parts of the state are on high alert,
“Parts of Queensland are on flood watch, with warnings for coastal catchments between Bundaberg and the NSW border.
Major flood warnings are in place for the Condamine River downstream of Warwick in southern Queensland.
Warnings are also in place at Myall Creek, near Dalby, and Charleys Creek in Chinchilla.”
In the aftermath of the floods, many residents are also bracing themselves for the forecast heatwave conditions, expected to reach into the mid-40s. In-fact experts have warned residents to brace for potentially record-breaking heatwaves in February.
This combined collection of stagnant water from floods and extremely high temperatures pose an additional threat, that of a rise in insect populations, particularly mosquitoes.
Installing Retractable screens in Brisbane residences is an effective way of ensuring that the rise in mosquitoes, which usually happens a few days after flooding, doesn’t endanger you or your family.
Installing retractable screens will also allow you to keep your doors and windows opened, cooling your home, without the fear of mosquitoes swarming inside.
Why The Risk of Mosquito-borne Diseases Increases After a Flood
History has taught us that floods trigger not only a rise in insect populations in Australia but also outbreaks of mosquito-borne diseases such as Ross River virus and Murray Valley encephalitis virus which is potentially life-threatening.
Ross River virus, while it isn’t fatal can cause debilitating symptoms and affects 5000 Australians annually.
Following flooding in NSW in 2016, authorities issued warnings about a rise in mosquitoes, so we can expect populations to rise in Brisbane and across south east Queensland as well.
Retractable screens in Brisbane and across the state will help keep the number of people bitten by mosquitoes down and thereby minimise the risk of mosquito-borne diseases spreading.
Given that mosquitoes need water for the breeding process, getting rid of stagnant water around your property is the first step to keeping infestations at bay.
Mosquitoes lay eggs in stagnant water and the larvae then hatch and grow into adults within that water. In about a week, mosquitoes lay their eggs, the eggs hatch and develop into adults – thereby resulting in an explosion of their population. That is why the days following a flood are so important in stopping mosquito infestations.
While you cannot always control the mosquitoes that come from outside your property (either from your neighbours yards or nearby parks, rivers and roads), you can keep them from invading your home with retractable screens. In Brisbane we should be prepared for the coming high temperatures which have been forecast. Combined with heavier rainfall also expected we should ensure that all our windows and doors are covered.