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Mayor Jenny Whitney said data received from the Queensland Government Department of Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts shows Cyclone Dylan broke all known records for storm tides at Shute Harbour and Bowen.
“We knew the storm tide surge for Cyclone Dylan was a significant threat, due to the cyclonesclose proximity to the king tide,” she said.
“However, the data from the Queensland Government stating the tides were the highest on record is a sobering reminder to everyone to be prepared for storm surge threats and know the storm surge zone you live in.
“The Whitsunday region dodged a bullet with Cyclone Dylan, had the cyclone crossed the coastlater in the morning, as originally predicted, there would have been much more damage andinundation due to storm surge.
“Shute Harbour recorded its highest tide level during Cyclone Dylan on 4.835m, beating theprevious highest record of 4.63m recorded during Cyclone Justin in March 1997, by 20cm.
“Bowen’s highest recorded tide during Cyclone Dylan was 4.157m a fraction above the previoushighest tide in Bowen of 4.1m, recorded in April 1989.
“Cyclone Dylan resulted in three consecutive days of sea level rises above the HighestAstronomical Tide (HAT) level in the Whitsunday Region, peaking on Thursday 30th January 2014.
“Storm tide monitoring began in the Whitsunday Region with stations being installed at ShuteHarbour in July 1976 and Bowen in March 1975,” she said.
Mayor Whitney said it is a timely reminder for residents in coastal areas to familiarisethemselves with the storm tide inundation mapping to identify the relevant evacuation zone fortheir properties.
“There are many important things that you can do now to prepare your family and your home for a cyclone and finding out if your home is in an area that could be prone to storm surge or flooding is an important one,” she said.
“Storm Surge Inundation Maps are included in the Emergency Action Guide which was sent toevery household in the Whitsunday region, the Guides and are available for viewing at all Council Libraries and Offices are on the Councils web site.
“If residents have misplaced their guide or did not receive one, they can contact Council to getanother one.
“While local, state and federal governments can spend millions of dollars every year on disastermitigation, response and recovery, these efforts can be worthless if families do not take the proper precautions themselves.
“The zones shown in the Emergency Action Guide (EAG) are an indication only for storm tides,”she said.
“To view full-scale mapping, residents are urged to visit Council’s Customer Service Centresand Libraries across the region or visit Council’s website www.whitsundayrc.qld.gov.au underthe ‘Disaster’ tab.
To keep up to date with information relating to current disaster events, residents are encouraged to ‘Like’ the Whitsunday Disaster and Emergency Information Facebook page, which will provide a direct link to information from the Whitsunday Disaster Management Group.
The Whitsunday Disaster Management Group monitors all cyclone and storm activity throughoutthe season and through Council, will provide up to date information to media outlets and thecommunity.
For media enquiries, contact:Kate Lennox, Communications ManagerPhone: 07 4945 0293, 0427 458 369 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org