Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Glenorchy Washed Away


Glenorchy - Glenorchy residents realised their worst fears on Saturday night when the banks of the Wimmera River overflowed.  The township was on high alert as floodwaters damaged homes and forced the Victoria State Emergency Service to issue an evacuation warning. Despite the efforts of many residents to sandbag their homes, the floods were too damaging.

The region was put on alert late Friday when heavy rain was forecast over the weekend. The Bureau of Meteorology issued the warning for areas including Glenorchy, to brace for a one in 50 year flood.

By late Saturday night, the reality hit, as floodwaters exceeded the major flood level of 4.9 metres early Sunday at Glenorchy. Earlier, the floods had peaked at a record high 8.3 metres at Glynwilln. The major flood level at Glynwylln is 5.7 metres.

It was the largest peak ever recorded in the Wimmera River at Glynwylln, with the river's level at 3am Sunday reaching 7.19 metres and rising. At Glenorchy, a peak of around five metres was larger than the September 1988 floods.

The SES had advised at 10pm Saturday night that all people in Glenorchy close to the Wimmera River and low lying surrounding areas to evacuate to higher ground immediately.

Northern Grampians Shire Council established a refuge at the Stawell Leisure Complex on Monday night to accommodate those residents who did choose to evacuate from the Glenorchy area. Several others decided to stay and protect their homes from the floodwaters.


- Marcus Marrow - Stawell Times