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U3A Writing: When The Rains Came

Mick Harkin tells of the disasterous damage caused by a week of heavy rain.

It started raining heavily on the thirtieth of May, rain it really pelted down, from early in the day. Hadn't rained in these parts, for eighteen months or so Once it really started, put on a mighty show.

Rained like this for one whole week, never really stopped, the creeks were flooding everywhere, paddocks became slop. Stock they moved to higher ground, where else could they go, turned their rumps towards the rain, a natural thing to do.

Dams bone dry for eighteen months soon began to fill, rivers running bankers, levee banks were intact still. Drainage channel rising, water had no where to go, water kept banking up, soon the bank would blow.

Rain let up for half an hour, then down it came again, this time with violent thunder storms, sheets of pelting rain. Farmers had their work cut out, finding higher ground, many stock were lost that day, washed away and drowned.

People from farm houses soon evacuated, better now than later, when land was inundated. Little taken with them, quick exit, had to go, So much uncertainty, how far the flood would flow!

Country roads were flooded, closed to any traffic, don't ever think of driving through, police were most emphatic. Many bridges wrecked that day, some completely washed away, fallen trees and farm debris on road for many days!

Levee bank soon gave away, along the northern side, a two inch breach soon became a yawning two chain wide. Water under pressure splayed out far and wide, scores of acres covered by this quickly moving tide.

Farm houses and outbuildings, suffered the same plight, flood it rose two feet or more in the middle of the night. Many flood ravaged houses, a sad and tragic sight most domestic animals survived that fateful night.

Bloated carcases everywhere, flattened fences fallen trees, every thing was waterlogged as far as you could see. Many months, may be years before land becomes productive, Australia is a dry land, too much water is destructive.

Millions of pounds damage, livelihoods lost in two days, things they strived so hard to gain completely washed away. Bank assistance not forthcoming, insurance poor and slow, people left with nothing, which way were they to go!.

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