Corowa Caravan Park prepares for a flood fight, while the Murray Darling Basin Authority claims releases have peaked

CREEPING IN: Water releases from the Hume Dam peaked at the weekend, David Hawkins believes the flows should have been managed better. Picture: MARK JESSER

CREEPING IN: Water releases from the Hume Dam peaked at the weekend, David Hawkins believes the flows should have been managed better. Picture: MARK JESSER

THE Corowa Caravan Park is “not going down without a fight”.

Julie Bartlett

Julie Bartlett

If it weren't for volunteers at the weekend, the property would be “inundated” with water said its manager Julie Bartlett. The caravan park has been owned by Mrs Bartlett's family for 11 years and this is the highest water level they have experienced.

The flow from a neighbouring lake began to trickle onto the grounds on Monday, as the Murray River level rose to 6.3 metres.

Mrs Bartlett said it could be worse and wanted to thank 60 community members who showed up to fill 2000 sandbags on Saturday. 

The Bureau of Meteorology predicts the level will reach 6.7 metres by Tuesday.

“It was amazing to see the volunteers,” Mrs Bartlett said.

“We knew a lot of them, but some where people you wouldn't expect – we had men, women and children.

“Obviously we are a caravan park on the river, so we do have a flood strategy.

“It comes in one side, we are bleeding it to lower end of park then pumping it back into the river.

“We will keep pumping it out as much as can, but when it gets to certain level will just have to throw our hands in the air.”

Up to 15 millimetres of rain is forecast in Corowa during Tuesday and Wednesday.

Mrs Bartlett was tracking the water levels closely.

“We think what will happen is the sand bags will only hold up so long,” she said.

“After that, we think will have our own little river through the park.

“We will try to direct that water to the pumps.

“The sandbags are holding the water at bay, if we didn't have that help ... the park would be inundated with water already.”

A Murray Darling Basin Authority spokeswoman said releases peaked at 52,000 ML/day at the weekend with seven gates open.

“Releases are being reduced, but further rain on Wednesday and at the weekend could result in renewed rises,” she said.

Waterworks land owner David Hawkins knows the feeling all too well now that 70 per cent of his land is under water. Fishing rods lent against the back deck, which was inches away from being swamped.

“All the landholders have the cost of feeding and loss of pasture,” Mr Hawkins said.

“The authority should leave room in the dam for higher than normal seasonal flows – which is basically what all farmers been saying for nine weeks.”

The authority said it began releases on August 29, when forecast rainfall confirmed it could be sure the dam would fill.

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