Monday, 19 September 2016

Floodwater Busyness

Hi everyone,
Quick update after the last few days.
If you've been following the news of late, you'll know that Victoria has been affected by a scrolling series of flood warnings across most of the larger river systems.  This is what's been generating much of my life's activities recently.

By Thursday it looked like the river was going to start coming up, so the Unit went out with the 4WDs to pass on the word to the homeless people who camp in the bush near the Causeway.  The ones we spoke to were aware of the risk and had mostly made plans to be elsewhere.It did seem to be clear that quite a lot of people had moved to higher ground, or at least away.
I'd picked up some work on Friday, gardening and cleaning for a doctor in Shepparton to get his house ready for a social gathering he was going to to hold.  It was a curious experience to have become "the help".  Curious, but not exactly distasteful.  Although it was a bit bizarre to be getting directions on picking up this or that leaf off the lawn (I'm not joking), or to be told to get rid of a little 2-inch long skink because "my children will be so scared"!  Anyway, pay is pay.
At least there are jobs to apply for
After the work was done, we had a dinner coming up for a unit member who is off to the Police Academy for the next few months.  I didn;t have time to come back to the farm to shower and change, so I went for a shower at the gym by the river.  I can tell you, the Goulburn was REALLY high.
Saturday my Unit had agreed to put up a stand at the Kidsfest Festival at Mooroopna.  We put up lots of photos of what SES does and told anyone who was interested about it (we also got three enquiries about joining, which was great!).  Meanwhile, we handed out lots of material, giving colouring books to the children and storm- and flood-safety material to their parents.

Anthony and I rounded out the day with flood reconnaissance on the Goulburn and Broken Rivers.  Amazingly, we came across a raft of people who were still willing to try and cross flooded roads in little utes and sedans.  You can't fix stupid.  You can't even really protect it from itself.

On Sunday I was preparing job applications when my pager started screaming to tell me of a water rescue (campers who'd been cut off by rising floodwater).  We didn't have enough people available to make a boat crew, and our Duty Officer arranged for backup units to attend.  I responded to the scene so to be sure I was there if I could be helpful, since I hold the coxswain and crewperson competencies.

In the event, there wasn't much for me to do, but better to have more resources than not enough
You can see my back a lot in this video!
There was another job later that night that Rebecca and I went out to - a welfare check for a person at risk of being cut off.  We followed up with more flood reconnaissance which said the river had indeed come up since the previous night, although the Bureau of Meteorology said the peak of the flooding had passed. 
A photo posted by Stephen Tuck (@sdtuc2) on

Today has been mercifully quiet and I had a chance to catch up on farm chores and paperwork.  I was hoping to get a bunch of job applications out (not enough hours in the day) although I'll have some time on my own tomorrow to do that.  More rain is supposed to arrive tomorrow.  Hopefully it stays quiet nonetheless.
That's my life to date.  What's going on in your world? 

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