More extreme weather is on its way with widespread rain and storms forecast across eastern Australia later this week

The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has declared a Significant Event for regions of Victoria, New South Wales and Northern Tasmania impacted by flooding. 

The Insurance Council is working with emergency services and government personnel across Victoria, Tasmania and New South Wales to coordinate the recovery response and will continue to closely monitor the weather forecast for the week. 

Andrew Hall, CEO of the ICA, commented: ”This is still a large-scale unfolding event across three States and with more extreme weather expected later this week, so we are encouraging everyone to remain vigilant and listen to any emergency warnings. 

Thousands of claims

”Claim numbers are steady at the moment but may continue to climb as this event unfolds, and we are actively monitoring the situation. Insurers have significantly increased their claims team resources as the entire La Niña event has continued across the year.”  

As at Monday 17 October, Suncorp had received approximately 1,000 claims in total, the majority in Victoria, as a result of the widespread rain and flooding. The numbers are expected to increase over the coming days as the situation continues to unfold.

Suncorp Group CEO Steve Johnston said: “Our teams are in place to receive claims and our mobile Customer Support Teams and assessors stand ready to be deployed into affected areas once the water has receded and they can safely access the impacted communities.”

“We are closely monitoring the situation as it unfolds and with further adverse weather predicted and some river systems still yet to peak, we urge everyone to focus on remaining safe.”

Further flooding expected

According to Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology, flooding is occurring on many river systems including in Victoria:

  • Wimmera River, Avoca River, Loddon River, Campaspe River, Goulburn River, Seven and Castle Creeks, Broken River, Murray River
  • Major flooding occurring at Shepparton, Charlton, Murchison and Barham.
  • Major flooding is expected at Echuca/Moama, possibly exceeding the 1993 flood level.
  • Moderate flooding at Seymour, Rochester

And in New South Wales:

  • Barwon and Darling Rivers, Macquarie River, Bogan River, Lachlan River, Murrumbidgee River.
  • Major flooding continues at Forbes, Tilpa, Warren

”Widespread rain and storms are forecast across eastern Australia later this week,” it warned. ”Depending on how the weather systems move, severe thunderstorms are possible, with heavy rainfall leading to flash flooding being the main risk. Damaging winds and large hail are also possible.”

Meanwhile, the Queensland Government decided to reduce the temporary full supply level of Wivenhoe Dam, allowing for additional flood waters to be stored if required.

It is an important mitigation measure as Queensland prepared for the storm season and the potential impacts of further heavy rain.

“Following the South-East Queensland floods earlier this year, Suncorp Group received more than 27,000 claims, so floods are top of mind for many Queenslanders as we enter the wet season,” said Suncorp CEO Steve Johnston.

“In preparation for this summer’s forecast third La Nina event we commend the Queensland Government on this proactive measure.”