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Thieves strike in Clunes during flood chaos

September 7, 2010 by  
Filed under Local Ballarat News

Clunes residents dealing with the clean-up from floods have had to cope with looters as well.

Clunes Caravan Park manager Les Eastcott said intruders ransacked a van on Saturday night, allegedly making off with a PlayStation.

He said would-be thieves were also disturbed trying to steal gas bottles.

“It’s pretty lousy when people try to take benefit of some other person’s misfortune,” Mr Eastcott said.

The town was hit by flash flooding on Saturday morning, when, in a couple of hours, the normally docile Tullaroop Creek turned into a torrent.

Several long-time residents said they had seen nothing like it.

Mr Eastcott said about five units at the park, which is next to the creek, had been affected by flooding.

Two vans had been occupied by permanent residents.

He praised locals who had volunteered their time to help with the clean-up.

“We’ve had people turn up at the door and say `what can I do?’ ”

Across the other side of the creek, Clunes Football Club president Doug Garth had begun cleaning up at the ground yesterday morning.

On Saturday fast-rising water covered the oval and was high enough for someone to ride a jetski on it.

But the flood also made its way into the clubrooms, damaging fridges and leaving thick ooze on the carpets.

The netball court, paid for by the club without government help and used for the first time in April, would need extensive repairs.

Mr Garth said the damage bill would be “in the thousands”.

Karen Byrnes’ front room was inundated, as was the shed where her husband Mark had been restoring Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

She said the water began rising rapidly between 10am and 11am.

“Within 10 minutes it had risen eight inches (203 mm),” Ms Byrnes said.

Opposition leader Ted Baillieu and deputy leader Peter Ryan toured the town yesterday morning.

Source: The Courier On Air

Baillieu tours flood-hit Ballarat

September 7, 2010 by  
Filed under Local Ballarat News

The Victorian Opposition Leader, Ted Baillieu, is touring flood-affected communities around Ballarat.

Mr Baillieu and Deputy Opposition Leader Peter Ryan have met residents of Creswick and Clunes and surveyed the flood damage.

About 120 homes and businesses in Creswick were flooded on Saturday and dozens of people are using emergency shelter.

Speaking in Clunes, Mr Baillieu says councils need State Government funding to repair the damage.

“There’s a lot of damage, it’s going to take a long time to recover from this and a lot of work’s going to have to go into it,” he said.

“What’s clear is that councils in affected areas have limited capacity to actually deal with these issues and those councils will need support from the State Government.”

Meanwhile, a meeting was held in Creswick this morning for residents affected by the floods.

Source: ABC Ballarat

Homes flooded in Ballarat region

September 4, 2010 by  
Filed under Local Ballarat News

Emergency crews are evacuating homes in and around Ballarat, as heavy rain falls across the state.

Floodwater has covered many major roads in central and north-eastern Victoria, including several places along the Hume Highway.

The State Emergency Service (SES) says it is getting calls from across Victoria, and has been swamped with calls from people whose homes are inundated at Creswick and Clunes.

SES spokesman Gordon Hicks says people who are worried about rising waters should stay indoors unless they have to leave for medical reasons.

He also urged residents to call crews early if they need help.

“If your house is under threat I suggest taking all your valuables off the floor,” he said.

“Make sure you give us a call well and truly before it becomes a definite problem. We are inundated with calls from people saying ‘oh the waters about to come in’.”

The Bureau of Meteorology says Ballarat received 47 millimetres of rain before 9:00am today.

The ABC’s rural reporter for Ballarat and the Central Region, Caleb Cluff, says his property has begun to flood.

“As far as I can see, and I can’t get out of my property, the roads are cut both ways to Maryborough,” he said.

“We live about 10 or 12 kilometres from Maryborough. There’s minor localised flooding and I’m hearing reports that there’s heavier flooding back towards Clunes and Creswick.”

The SES is currently helping residents at homes in Creswick.

Reports that Creswick nursing home John Curtin Aged Care is being evacuated were refuted by the home’s manager.

More rain expected

Flood warnings remain current for much of the state.

The weather bureau has warned that approaching storms could be the most significant weather event in Victoria for the past 15 years.

Heavy rain fell overnight across the state’s north, with the highest falls of about 45 millimetres recorded at Mount Buffalo in the north-east.

Last night the bureau said a low-pressure system could bring rainfalls of up to 150 millimetres across the north-west, north and north-east overnight and today, and could cause flooding problems for months.

Stephen King from the Bureau of Meteorology says much more rain is expected today.

“The worst is yet to come if you have a look at the radar there’s still plenty of cloud up to our north,” he said.

SES state controller Tim Wiebusch says the Ovens and Kings catchment could receive more than 100 millimetres of rain.

He says people should also be aware of dangerous winds.

“Potentially up to 100 kilometres an hour, so we’re alerting people for the risk of falling trees and debris being across the road,” he said.

Mr Wiebusch is urging people in low lying areas to take precautions in case they become isolated.