Victorian floods: SES says “get out”; worst floods in state’s history; at least one death

Sadly, the floods in my home state of Victoria continue.

The State Emergency Service tells Kerang residents to “get out”:

Badly leaking levees are all that stand between Kerang residents and potential disaster as a one-in-100-year flood threatens to demolish the town’s defences.

And grader drivers are working frantically in tandem to keep an earth levy from giving way at Warracknabeal in the state’s north-west.

With Kerang residents told to get out of town via the last open road this morning, Gannawarra Shire Mayor Max Fehring today told The Age the levees were “starting to leak badly’’ as the Loddon River surged to a level beyond what the flood defences are designed to withstand.

And the river is expected to remain at dangerous heights for days, putting the levee under massive stress as floodwaters merge at Kerang from an overwhelmed northern Victorian river system.

“The water outside the levee is at horrendous levels and a section of that levee is now leaking very badly,’’ said Cr Fehring.

“Consequently, if that was to breach in any serious way the town has got very limited time to get people out. The offer for people to evacuate is now on.

‘‘We haven’t had had floods of any nature since 1996, and after such a dry period the levee is being tested. We’re now seeing cracks appear.’’

Raw footage of Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) helicopter delivering supplies:

Tragically, a young boy has lost his life:

As water swamped 58 towns and more than 4000 Victorians began counting the cost of the damage, police divers recovered the body of the Lachlan Collins, 8, who drowned while playing on a makeshift pontoon at Kialla near Shepparton. Police found the body 53 metres from where he disappeared on Monday morning.

Lachlan, whom police described as a limited swimmer, was sucked in by strong currents that flowed under the surface of the 800-metre billabong.

The currents hampered the search of divers, who found the boy’s body four metres under water among debris including logs, fences and cars.

As a parent, this kind of news hits me hard. I can think of nothing worse than losing a child.

My deepest sympathies to the family.

These floods are now being described as the “biggest in the state’s history“:

THE state government is bracing for ”a significant whack” to the economy as a result of Victoria’s worst floods in decades, Premier Ted Baillieu said yesterday at the launch of emergency flood relief funds.

Mr Baillieu announced $7 million in immediate disaster relief and recovery funds for ”undoubtedly one of the biggest flood events in Victoria’s history.”

”This is confronting for vulnerable people, it is a confronting thing for anyone,” he said.

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One thought on “Victorian floods: SES says “get out”; worst floods in state’s history; at least one death

  1. Sou says:

    Some of the water from Queensland will be flowing down the Darling to the Murray. Most of the record flood waters in Victoria will also be flowing into the Murray.

    The people from Swan Hill to Renmark and beyond will be next and bracing themselves. This is a disaster of monstrous proportions – and largely of humanity’s making.

    The government is working against itself and us. Each taxpayer is going to have to come up with the funds to repair the damaged infrastructure, and everyone is going to have to pay higher prices for produce. At the same time governments are working to exacerbate the root cause of this damage by asking BP to do very deep oil exploration in the Great Australian Bight, keeping the coal mines going and building more of them, and expanding coal extraction.

    We will end up paying quadruple the cost, and the sectors causing the problems in the first place will reap profits. Costs to Australian residents and taxpayers include:

    1. the direct cost of repairing and replacing damaged infrastructure and giving grants to those affected;

    2. higher prices for produce, given the massive agricultural losses;

    3. higher prices for oil and coal as the cost of extraction rises and they become increasingly scarce;

    4. paying the subsidies / tax benefits required to attract companies exploring and extracting coal and oil.

    We are an irrational and perplexing species, apparently intent on obliterating ourselves.

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