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Storm damage smacks south-east Queensland hard, insurance data shows

By Elaine Ford and Jennifer Huxley, Monday October 23, 2017 - 12:38 EDT
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A tree blocks a street in Corinda on Brisbane's south-west after overnight storms. - ABC

The top-five most storm-affected regions in Queensland are in the state's south-east, research from NRMA Insurance has shown.

Capalaba, Cleveland and Belmont took the number one spot when grouped in the south-east Brisbane region, resulting in 24 per cent of all storm insurance claims, with the suburbs of Chermside, Deagon and Boondall in North Brisbane representing 17 per cent of all storm claims.

The data shows nearly half of all home claims in Queensland over the past financial year were related to storm damage, increasing to 76 per cent in March after storms caused by ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie.

The top-five most storm-affected towns and suburbs in Queensland are Proserpine and Cannonvale in the state's north, Mudgeeraba on the Gold Coast, and Forest Lake and Capalaba in the south-east Brisbane region.

The data showed 30 per cent of all homeowners in Queensland had not taken any steps to prepare for the coming storm season and that 18 per cent do not recognise storms as posing the biggest risk to their property.

The research also showed only one-in-four Queensland residents regularly maintained their home in a case a storm hit.

NRMA spokesman Ramana James said it was concerning Queensland residents underestimated the impact of storms.

"Storm season has kicked off to a thundering start with many parts of the state experiencing their wettest October on record," he said.

"Together with the SES, we're urging everyone to take the time to prepare your home, business and community for severe storms.

"Severe weather can strike at any time and preparation is key to limiting damage.

"Heavy storms have also resulted in flash flooding and damage to properties has been common in many parts of Queensland."

QFES says to prepare household emergency kit

It follows , with State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers responding to more than 200 calls for assistance between the Gold Coast and Gladstone.

A Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) spokesperson said volunteers were called on to assist with sandbagging and to help plug leaking roofs.

"This event was a good reminder to all Queenslanders to prepare for storm season, particularly so given there are forecasts of more wet weather ahead for parts of Queensland this week," the spokesperson said.

"The SES is prepared for this, but we also need residents to do their bit as well.

"Early preparations around the home can make all the difference when storm season is underway.

"All homes should have an emergency kit filled and ready to go in an emergency, as it is too late to be running around trying to find the essentials when a storm is bearing down."

Griffith University Professor Stuart Bunn said flooding issues on the Gold Coast were partly due to river systems struggling to cope with heavy rain, as a result of modifications to streams and floodplains as well as a loss of natural vegetation.

He said about half of the 40,000 waterways across south-east Queensland were in poor condition, but restoring those ecosystems would reduce the impact of flooding.

"We'll never completely floodproof ourselves — we'd be foolish to think we can eliminate the risk of floods altogether, but certainly the moderate and smaller floods we can take the sting out of those," Professor Bunn said.

"We can reduce the environmental damage and the risk to water security, risk to infrastructure by reinstating some of those natural features."


© ABC 2017

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