Understanding Climate Risk

Science, policy and decision-making

Kerang Floods

with 4 comments

I returned to Australia from Japan Sunday 16 and was on the train the next morning and topping up levee banks in the afternoon. We lost the fight against the floods late Tuesday and another peak Wednesday showed we had no hope of holding the flood back. The water is very beautiful. Blue skies, frogs, birds, but it’s a tad inconvenient. This is the front drive – on Wednesday. 

Front Drive, Kerang Model Farm

 There is an official Bureau of Met weather station – this is what it looked like on Wednesday – the new fangled extra large-sized evaporation pan (approximately 500 hectares in size).

Kerang Model Farm met station Jan 19, 2011

From the bird’s eye view, this is where we are (the small area of dry land inside the white boundary):

Kerang Model Farm Aerial photo Jan 19 2011

The town of Kerang is just to the north of the farm and the Loddon River is to the west – photo right. The farmhouse is about a century old and has never been flooded because it’s on a small rise about 1-2 m higher than the surrounding floodplain.


Written by Roger Jones

January 23, 2011 at 10:46 pm

Posted in Floods

4 Responses

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  1. How sad that you lost the fight to the flood, after all that effort. “A tad inconvenient”, you say? You’re priceless, Roger 😉
    It must have been surreal to be surrounded by all that water!


    January 27, 2011 at 10:42 am

    • It was beautiful, but now the water is receding, very smelly. I’m in Melbourne now, out of range. The flood was mostly inconvenient for us, but there’s a lot of working in cleaning up etc. However, I was thinking of others who lost stock, crops and had houses flooded. That is serious and has long-term effects. In comparison what we had was inconvenience.

      Roger Jones

      January 27, 2011 at 2:45 pm

  2. roger – glad to hear things are ok.

    Whats happened to risk managemtn on farms.

    I’m originally off a farm and we never built anything, shed, feed cradle, trough, house, chook shed, that wasn’t on a rise or a hill.

    Admittedly our area wasn’t as flat as around some of the Murray but still –

    any observations?

    Francis Xavier Holden

    February 14, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    • FXH – ta
      Our place was built a century ago on a small sandy blow out from a previous climate when the river carried more water (very fertile). Have just been talking to my mother who has been doing the rounds and she related instances where over the past couple of decades sensible drainage has been altered for appearance’s sake. Was encouraging the locals to do a debrief, because there’s a need to take more control during emergencies. The town (Kerang) had limited flood info coming in and none on one of the major creeks (Pyramid Creek) – technical oversite that needs to be fixed. On the farm we had the internet and were number crunching to see how much water we were getting. The local power relay was saved (heroically) only after one of the locals realised it was at risk and got on the blower to the mayor. 20,000 users would have been affected. There was too much outside emergency management from people who didn’t know the lay of the land.

      Some people who came into the area after the 70s floods were caught completely unaware. I’ve heard a few stories of loss that were avoidable. Heard many more stories of great generosity.

      The folk on the really flat country on the lower Loddon (Benjeroop way) have been warned the water might take 12 months to clear (presumably if the wet weather continues). Hope not. There are many places where there’s no high ground. Houses would need to be built on mounds (happens in Bangla Desh).

      The latest flood from the recent heavy rains just peaked at moderate level at the farm. Good – the banks are damaged and can’t be repaired until they dry out.

      Roger Jones

      February 14, 2011 at 5:43 pm

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