Burst Water Tank Floods Cooma During Bushfire Crisis
A burst water tank in Cooma, south of Canberra, has sent thousands of litres of water flooding through the town, injuring one person and damaging cars.
Residents of Cooma, south of Canberra, began raising the alarm about 9.15pm on Saturday, with some reporting water had flowed through their homes.
The town went through Saturday with several dangerous bushfire warnings, but ended the day with a problem of a very different kind. The cause of the tank's rupture is still unclear, but an estimated 3.5 million litres of water suddenly inundated parts of the town.
Police said a woman suffered minor injuries after water entered her home and knocked her to the ground.
Some cars were damaged, including one that was swept 800m down a road and into a truck. The ABC reported some homes were flooded with mud, while driveways were lifted clean out of the ground by the force of the water.
A resident told The Sunday Telegraph he heard "roaring" outside.
"I thought it was the rain getting heavier but when I went outside to see the street was awash," he told the newspaper.
"There were people everywhere just looking dazed."
The man said he helped carry an elderly woman out of her house to a waiting ambulance.
"Her home had been inundated with water and about six inches of mud," he said.
Snowy Monaro Mayor Peter Beer said he'd been told that all people affected had been accommodated elsewhere.
"It's been a full day of fires and now water," he told the newspaper.
"We're very sorry that this has happened and we will try and see what's caused it and obviously rectify it."
Police said there is a second tank in Cooma and the town still has drinking water.
Police and council officers were sent to check damage to buildings and State Emergency Service volunteers were also deployed to the scene.
Authorities are warning people to avoid the Snowy Monaro area, including Adaminaby to Cooma, Jindabyne and Perisher, as deadly fires burn in the region.