Posted by: jkirkby8712 | January 14, 2011

Friday, 14th January 2011 – attention turns down south

While the crisis up in Queensland continues, and in many areas, the big longterm clean up commences, and the economical and personal costs are assessed, for us down here in Victoria, our attention has been directed to our own State. Heavy rain throughout the state, from yesterday and overnight, and continuing throughout today, has generated Victoria’s own flood crisis.

In central and western Victoria, small towns are being evacuated as flood waters approach, rivers and dams are overflowing, country roads [and city roads here in Melbourne] are being closed, and  evacuation relief centres are being set up in various locations near the major areas of concern.  I have a personal concern today – my daughter, Susan, had to drive north today, to Bendigo, in order to enrol, etc, for her new university program, and her younger sister, Jodie went alongforthe ride, for which I was grateful. So far, the highway they need to return on, is one of the few highways or roads in that direction which has not yet been cut off.  However, monitoring the radio reports, I’ve heard advice from the police that people should avoid using the Calder Highway between Bendigo and Sunbury, or at least drive with extreme caution  – huge potholes are developing in parts of the road, making driving rather hazardous, where vehicles generally travel at between 110-120 kilometres per hour!@  I’ve warned the girls of that danger, but certainly won’t advise Susie to try a different route in view of the number of roads that are cut off, and/or under water.  So I guess I am watching the time pass, and waiting to hear from Susie when she gets back to Sunbury. Not a good day to have to do a trip of that nature! A recent report indicated that more than 350 people have been evacuated from their homes as torrential rain falls over western Victoria. The State Emergency Service (SES) has issued evacuation warnings for Halls Gap, Beaufort, Great Western, Charlton and Glenorchy.  Meanwhile, the Loddon, Campaspe, Avoca and Wimmera rivers are on major flood warnings. An SES spokeswoman said about 365 people had been evacuated from their homes and taken to relief centres across the state, with more evacuations likely. Around 100 of those were evacuated in Halls Gap and moved to shelter in Stawell as 85mm of rain hit the region overnight.  In Charlton, about 2000 phone and text messages have been sent to residents advising them to go to the relief centre at the local sports stadium. Much of Victoria has experienced heavy rain in recent days. Over the next two to three hours, 20-30mm of rain was expected to fall on the Campaspe River, affecting townships along it.  About 20mm of rain was also expected to fall in the areas of Kerang and Charlton, the spokeswoman said.   Meanwhile the city of Ballarat has been hit hard with flash floods, etc, and I’m certainly glad I am not out in any of those areas at present. I still need to get back to Sunbury from my workplace – there are no major reports roads between here and there, but I’m expecting the traffic to be chaotic!! Not looking forward to that drive!

 This scribe will not be here for a few days – computer is out of action at home, and I don’t expect to have access to it for the next few days. Hopefully, by then, the weather everywhere will be much improved 🙂

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