Minor floods caused major challenges in the twin towns

December 06, 2017

Powercor depot, Echuca. Photo by Tony Fusti

RAIN records have been smashed in Echuca-Moama, with flooding affecting at least 50 homes and businesses.

We received more than a summer’s worth of rain in three days and 123mm overnight Friday — an all-time 24-hour record.

A total of 139mm has fallen since Friday, with the last time Echuca received more than 100mm in December being in 1930 when 180mm fell during the whole month.

The deluge caused flooding to countless homes and businesses, with Echuca SES receiving about 60 call-outs.

About 10 members started in earnest about 9pm Friday, working through until Saturday night.

‘‘We didn’t get much sleep over the weekend,’’ unit controller Ian Marriott said.

Thousands of sandbags were filled thanks to community members and businesses, with flooding reported in the CBD, Echuca East, Westwood Park and Fehring Lane estates.

‘‘We had quite a few calls about water in the house coming through the doors and from the ceiling,’’ Mr Marriott said.

Coles Supermarket had to be closed on Friday night after water started leaking through the roof.

‘‘We helped with sandbagging and the staff there did a pretty incredible job getting all the water out,’’ Mr Marriott said.

‘‘The op shop in Ogilvie Ave was impacted. We used sandbags but we couldn’t stop the water.

‘‘On Friday night, most of the CBD was under water.’’

Most of Westwood Park Estate was underwater, with drainage pumps struggling to move the water with extra water draining from surrounding farm land.

Campaspe Shire had to bring in two drainage pumps to move the water, with staff working in the area most of Saturday.

There were also reports of cars breaking down after driving through floodwaters in Sturt and Warren streets.

‘‘We also heard of a young person on a bike in waist-level water,’’ Mr Marriott said.

Mr Marriott praised the efforts of his members and community members, as well as businesses who donated sand.

‘‘The response was brilliant and people worked their backsides off filling sandbags,’’ he said.

‘‘This highlights that people can do themselves a favour if they prepare for an event like this. Because it will happen again.

‘‘We can’t be everywhere at once and we can’t do much with flash flooding as the drains can’t cope. But people can prepare for the rain as best as they can by keeping their gutters clean and cleaning up around the place when it is dry.’’

The forecast for the week shows a slight chance of rain, with temperatures in the mid-20s.

■In other rainfall figures, Kyabram received 92mm, Rochester 77mm and Heathcote 48mm.

More in Riverine Herald
Login Sign Up

Dummy text