The flood

I’ve written here how much rain we’ve been having — showers basically every day.

On Wednesday, the heavens opened.  Our rain gauge overflowed at 180mm.  That’s a quarter of the average annual rainfall.

Run’o’waters Creek runs through the bottom of the property.  It turned into a raging river, and flooded our lower paddocks.

Our place runs across to Parkesbourne Road, and the creek crossing there was well underwater and the road closed.  This meant, by ancient arrangement, that traffic from the village of Parkesbourne came through our fields so they could get to Barkers Lane, thence to Goulburn.  Otherwise they were cut off.

Many roads were closed, and towns isolated.  The Federal Highway to Canberra was cut.  When I drove to Goulburn, the water was nearly over the Hume Highway, but not quite.  There were huge sheets of water all the way into Goulburn.

Goulburn was laid out in the 1840s, obviously by surveyors who knew what they were doing.  All the sporting fields and parks are underwater (still) but the town itself did pretty well.  Apparently there were still 100 houses evacuated; I don’t know how many houses were actually flooded.

The city of Queanbeyan is further south, near Canberra.  I think they got less rain, but much of the shopping centre is near the riverbank.  They had major flooding, and the area has been declared a natural disaster.

The river in Queanbeyan is the Molonglo, and it runs into Canberra where it has been dammed to make Lake Burleigh Griffin, the centrepiece of the city.  Lots of flood debris washed into the lake, and there were sewage overflows too.

As it happened, we had been invited by our friend Jane to join her for a lake cruise that she had won.  Friday morning was quite unpleasant, so we were worried about the weather, but dare not stay away.  As it turned out, the sun came out in the late afternoon and bathed the lake in lovely golden light.  The various guests brought nibblies, and Jane brought some (formidable!) cocktails.  In the end we had a wonderful time, cruising around the lake and watching out for whole uprooted trees floating past.

We’ve had a few good days since then, but this week we’re due to go back to showers every day.  Summer is delayed until further notice.


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