Men's Probus members told of flood recovery

STAWELL - Northern Grampians Shire Municipal Recovery Manager, Greg Little was the guest speaker at the Stawell Men's Probus Club September meeting.

He spoke on the impact of the floods that occurred on January 12 to January 15 , 2011 when 300mm of rain was recorded in the Grampians Region.

This resulted in numerous townships being effected over the following days.

Mr Little said Halls Gap was effected at the Stony Creek retail centre with the creek inundating the shops. Evacuation was offered to the residents, with 120 being relocated to the Stawell Leisure Centre.

A total of 55 properties were identified as being damaged by floods and landslips.

The damage included private properties, businesses, government and civic buildings plus the road and walking trail network of the Grampians National Park.

Mr Little said the Halls Gap water supply was broken with no portable water or sewerage able to be connected for weeks. In all 190 separate landslips occurred .

He said Great Western, Glenorchy and St Arnaud were also effected with St Arnaud being without power for 45 hours resulting in food losses, no petrol pumps operating and the hospital running low on diesel.

Stawell also suffered when the storm water system could not cope resulting in the Stawell Bowling Club having their two bowling greens ruined by flooding as well as a retaining wall collapsing onto a green.

Rural communities also suffered with damage to fences, debris, fly strikes and lamb losses.

Mr Little said the Northern Grampians Shire set up a post impact team which assessed the damage.

Assistance was obtained from staff at the Moyne, Ararat and Yarra Ranges Shires

Community meetings took place where short and long term plans were set up.

Mr Little said the Northern Grampians Shire faced issues such as dampness, mould, drinking water supplies, mosquitoes, rubbish disposal, sewerage, flood waters, landslips, snakes, fly strikes in sheep, fencing and inaccessible roads.

The shire suffered 1949 damaged roads, bridges, walkways and the like of which of which 805 have been repaired by the end of March 2012 equating to to 41 percent. The estimated completion date of the remainder is mid 2014.

Mr Little indicated that the recovery program was not only about roads and bridges, but about communities including community halls and sporting facilities. At total of 1700 farm fences over 2500 kilometres were damaged.

He indicated when the Flood Recovery team winds up, they would know if they had got it all right if the community was better placed than before the floods occurred .

Mr Little said there is still a lot to do but he personally looks forward to the day when he can pack up and return to his pastime of going fishing.

He was presented with a small momento and was thanked by Probarian Bill Byron.

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