Storm chaser urges residents to prepare for disasters

STORM chaser Terry West is urging Rose City residents to be more proactive in preparing for the arrival of severe weather events such as last week's flood.

Mr West said he was certain a flood was on its way three days before it hit, and couldn't understand why people were not aware until the flood arrived.

"What I find is people are waiting for someone of authority to knock on their door," he said.

"We have to get away from that and start taking a little bit of responsibility for ourselves.

"Look at the sky and take notice. If you see the river start to rise, pick up the phone and ring your friend in Killarney or grandma in Legume and ask them what is happening there,' he said.

"We know when Killarney is hit, 12 hours later Warwick is going to flood."

The avid storm enthusiast had been tracking the area's weather patterns and said there were countless signs of the impending flood.

He said these flooded roods at Glengallan Creek, the closure of Cunningham's Gap, torrential rain at The Head and flooding in Killarney.

"I felt there was absolutely no reason for anyone to be in a dangerous situation this time - the signs were there," he said.

"The community acted well but we do need to start to look, listen and feel what is happening when it comes to these events.

"It was obvious to anyone who took the time to look that Warwick was in form a major flood, but still people went to bed on Sunday night without checking the river and without checking their neighbours."

Mr West said a "breakdown of communication" between government departments and the public added to the uncertainty, with information at times days late.

"I told people it was going to flood on Friday and some of them laughed at me and said 'yeah right'," he said.

"If a dumbass console operator from the Caltex knew it was going to happen, I'm sure somebody at the Bureau (of Meteorology) knew it was going to.

Mr West said these were the times it was important for the council and other departments to have running updates on social media.

"People are hungry for information but it is just too hard for them to find on the government pages," he said.



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