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VICSES Community Information Session – Donald and Charlton Update


 VICSES Community Information Session – Donald and Charlton Update

Publish date: 15 October 2022

A community information session for the Donald community was held today, Saturday 15 October at 1pm, by the Victorian State Emergency Service (VICSES), to share information and predicted impacts of flooding.

The North Central Catchment Management Authority (NCCMA) Floodplain Manager, Camille White, said that widespread rainfall totals of between 60—90mm, with isolated higher totals in some areas, fell across the upper Avon-Richardson Catchment on Thursday 13 October 2022.

“On Friday, the Bureau of Meteorology indicated that levels at the Banyena Weir, which is where the Avon and Richardson join, could reach between 4.5 to 5.0m. However, a new gauge has been put in upstream of the Camp Street floodway near the Goodwin Village (Donald), and overnight at the gauge, it has peaked at a lot lower level.”

Ms White said the flood event was now predicted to be similar to the experience in September 2016, which did not cause any significant flooding.

“Council have plugged these gaps, so there’s no risk of the overtopping either side of the river, so this is really good news for Donald (township).”

The Richardson River at Banyena Weir peaked at 3.7m at 3am this morning, and will remain at a steady, high level for some time.

The Donald township river gauge water level was about 2.1m at 1pm, and slowly rising.

Ms White said the Richardson River was expected to peak around 1am early tomorrow morning, 16 October 2022.

Early indications of flood impacts upon the township of Charlton prompted an evacuation order yesterday.

“The Bureau have updated their forecast for Charlton, they believe it will reach 7.8-7.9m at the James Patterson Bridge and this level is very similar the September 2010 flood event,” said Ms White.

“It is currently sitting around major level at 7.5m and it is going to continue to slowly rise and will peak tomorrow morning at around 6am.”

During the September 2010 flood event, 70% of the township experienced flooding of their property, and approximately 80 properties with over floor flooding.

“However, there has been a lot of works undertaken by Council since this event, such as: the construction of the Charlton-St Arnaud Road floodway; construction of a small bank along the Avoca River near the floodway to reduce the impact of breakout flows from the Avoca; lowering sections of the Back St Arnaud Road; drainage improvements; as well as construction of a levee around the Charlton Power Transfer Station,” said Ms White.

“This will lessen the impact of flooding.”

Buloke Shire Council has been working closely with VICSES over the past few days and has staff in the Incident Control Centre as well as in the community helping residents fill and deliver and sandbags.

Residents of Donald needing sandbags can collect them from: Donald Shire Depot, Avon Place, Donald, where council staff are in place to assist.

Whilst the risk had significantly reduced for the residents of Donald, Regional Manager Victoria SES, Sharon Unthank, encouraged them to plan ahead given the higher risk of increased rainfall into the summer period.
Start to get things ready by:

• Bagging it: Get your sandbags ready and in place to prevent water from entering your property
• Blocking it: Block drains, toilets, and doorways
• Lifting it: Lift your valuables up high.

Farmers are encouraged to move stock to higher ground.

Now is also the time to plan on leaving your property, the best place is always to stay with family and friends away from the flood.

Council has opened an Emergency Relief Centre, which also welcomes pets, at the request of the Incident Controller (VICSES). It is a safe place for the community and pets to gather during the emergency.

However, if you can stay with friends and family away from the flood please do. The centre will be managed by Council and they will make you as comfortable as they can by providing you with basic and essential items.

The Emergency Relief Centre is at the Wycheproof Stadium at the Wycheproof P-12 school in McKenzie Crescent, Wycheproof. The location of this centre will be communicated via the Vic Emergency App and local radio.

The evacuation/Relief Centre will have Red Cross, DFFH (PHAP payments) Victorian Council of Churches and Emergency Ministry and Council staff onsite.

After this meeting we encourage those likely to be impacted to go home and prepare a bag that contains all your essentials including:

• Mobile phones, electronic devices and chargers
• Medications
• Identification/important documents
• Spare clothes for all members of your family (3-5 days)
• Baby items such as milk powder, bottles and nappies
• If you have children pack things that will entertain children such as games, books, balls
and electronic devices.
• We also encourage you to plan for your pets. Decide which pets will leave with you
and get cages/boxes and leads ready. Remember to prepare for your pets needs as well
including pet food and pet beds.
If you are moving large animals including horses depending on the type of animal, a kit might include:
• 2 to 3 days of feed
• Water
• Halters
• Leads
• Rugs
• First aid kit
• Medications
• Relevant documentation.
The Wycheproof Salesyards in Camp St Wycheproof is open for large animals.

Prior to leaving your property we ask that you turn off gas and electricity at your home or workplace.
When travelling to a safe location we remind you to check for road closures and follow instructions from emergency services.
Do not drive through road blocks and do not drive through flood water. Turn around and find an alternate route.

“This is a very stressful time and Council is here to support you through this”, commented Buloke Shire Council Emergency Management Liaison Officer Travis Fitzgibbon.

“We encourage all residents to download the VicEmergency App. We have staff here this afternoon to assist anybody with the installation of the Vic Emergency app. Please don’t leave the meeting without it.”

Remember if you need emergency assistance during this emergency, please call Triple 000.