Storm warning shock: only third of Woodford residents get free alerts

Published 14 June 2022

Image of mobile phone with storm alert message.

Woodford was one of the hardest hit areas of South East Queensland in summer’s storms, with 703mm of rain recorded in less than a week in February.

Mayor Peter Flannery said it highlighted the need for residents to be prepared, yet 67% of adults in the Woodford area haven’t subscribed to MoretonAlert - a free early warning system that texts your phone as a storm approaches.

“All the Councillors will be in Woodford tomorrow for our Community Council Meeting, so we’ll all be urging residents to sign up for MoretonAlert,” he said.

“The February rain event was the biggest since 1998, with the Stanley River reaching 9.8m, parts of Woodford cut off and the highway to Kilcoy closed. The flood peak was 400mm higher than the 2011 floods!

“In fact on February 26 there was a 262mm deluge, that broke the record for the highest daily total at the gauge - and the previous day it was only 10mm less.

“So we’ll also be encouraging locals to check a new flood report and apply for a rates rebate if they had significant damage.

“It goes to show that our weather is unpredictable and can cause destruction in a very short time, so the best way for residents to stay ahead of potential threats is to sign up to MoretonAlert.

“It’s a free service that provides flood warnings and storm alerts via SMS, email, or text-to-voice direct to you based on Bureau of Meteorology forecasts and includes links to the latest weather radar imagery or flood information.

“I implore you to sign up to MoretonAlert to receive weather warnings, it’s the best thing you can do today to be prepared for future weather events.”

Cr Tony Latter (Div 12), who is the Vice Chair of the Local Disaster Management Group, said rural communities like Woodford were most at risk of fires and floods so it’s more important for locals to sign up for free alerts.  

“MoretonAlerts were issued as early as February 23 and residents who had signed up received warning of what was coming. The system did what it’s been set up to do - give residents time to plan, prepare and warn them to monitor the situation,” he said.

“Disaster management processes were also put in place and we responded to calls for help during the weather event.

“Since then we are offering a $250 one-off rates rebate for residential owner-occupied properties, who have suffered significant damage from this disaster.

“The same rebate is also available for owner-operated small businesses, and we’ve also extended the eligibility of Council’s financial hardship policy for them.

“We will always do everything we can to get locals through a disaster, and you can expect to see funding in Budget 2022-23 on Friday that will help Woodford get back on its feet.

“But we really, really need locals to sign up to this warning system because there’s only so much Government can do to help people prepare for a disaster.”

For more information about getting storm ready see disaster management: