Monday, 16 May 2011

The flood plain

Kerang sits on a flood plain between the Loddon River and the Murray River and in mid-January this year the 'flood' part became a reality. All roads to the town were closed for over a week. Do you remember seeing aerial photos of Kerang as an island surrounded by an ocean of water? My parents-in-law elected to stay in their home in the town and luckily the levee banks held.

Amazingly some areas of the district are still flooded. The plain is flat and the man-made levee banks, roads, bridges and channels so disruptive of the natural flow so the water is taking a long time to drain into the Murray. There is a lot of angst here because properties, houses and incomes have been badly effected.

We drove out to Murrabit and Benjeroop to have a look at some of the damage. (Prince William's helicopter landed in the oval next to the Murrabit school when he visited a few weeks ago.) There was a giant temporary levee built on the Murrabit-Benjeroop Road that locals nicknamed 'The Great Wall' but when we saw it yesterday all of the soil has been pushed to the side of the road and levelled. It all looks very messy, muddy and bedraggled still. We could see many, many bales of hay that have been spoilt. Swamps that have been dry for decades have water in them, the lignum bushes are growing madly, birds are prolific. I've never seen so many White-faced Herons. It will be interesting to revisit in spring because the land has had a good drink and I imagine the vegetation will respond.

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