Flood, Havoc and History Pt. 2
- Posted by webmaster
- On August 14, 2009
- 1 Comments
It’s hard to know how much rain fell – some say about about 175 millimetres or seven inches in twenty-four hours. It could have been more. I remember looking in the rain gauge at about 5 a.m. and there was about 50 mils. It just kept raining and the waters kept rising.
This was the main street at about 9 o”clock in the morning before things really got going. People from a nearby station came down for a look. They nearly got more than they bargained for.
By now the phones were gone and there was no communication with the outside world. There were just seven people, including two children and during the morning both of them came close to drowning.
I spent about four hours in the water taking these shots. Sometimes I was up to my waist in it, ducking floating tree branches, other fast flowing debris and trying to keep the camera relatively dry.
I regret not getting more shots of the people in the town who were all struggling to cope with the worsening conditions. However a lot of my attention was on my home rapidly being overrun by the fast flowing waters. Not that there was much I could do about it.
Gradually everyone in the town retreated to the hotel seen here in the distance.
The mother of the two children made it across from the red post box in the background to the power pole in front of the hotel but could go no further.
She was rescued in a distraught state, holding her young daughter and the family dog in her arms. Her son had slipped and fallen but managed to save himself by catching onto something on the side of the building.
Watching the drama unfold was quite surreal.
Apart from the big gums being swept away, power poles were bending. There were showers of sparks as the power lines parted from the poles. All sorts of things went floating past – a water tank, a caravan, a car trailer that stayed afloat for a time before disappearing in the muddy waters.
It was days before anyone got out of the town. There was no power, no phones – nobody came. Once the floodwaters receded there was just a wasteland of debris and thick red silt.