|Barwon River in flood - Breakwater.|
The Bureau informs me that the Barwon officially peaked at a height of 3.68 metres very early on Sunday morning and by the time I made it down to survey the extent of the damage it was already beginning to recede. Having said that, there was still plenty of water where it shouldn't have been. As always, the first point to go under was the Breakwater and Barrabool Road was of course closed. Whilst I didn't see the flood marker at this point, various citizens were wading up the middle of the road somewhat above waist height. Likewise, virtually every low-lying section of the track around the river was under water.
One of the first things of note when the Barwon floods is the number of locals who come out for a look - me included. Suddenly I am not the only person toting a camera and looking at the river. Virtually every access point has someone there taking in the action.
This raises the point that floods in Geelong are generally more a source of entertainment or at worst an inconvenience than a source of death and destruction as has been the case in Brisbane. Everyone comes out for a look and compares water levels to either the 1995 flood or in the case of the over 60s, the 1952 flood.
I have it on good advice that an athletics meet of some description was held at Landy Field yesterday. This morning, there was one hardy soul doing sprints in the car park, but otherwise, the only activity was a pair of wood ducks having a paddle near the discus nets.
Kayaking is also very much a "flood sport". During each flood event it is almost mandatory that the Geelong Advertiser posts a photo of a bloke in a kayak going over Buckley's Falls. This time things were a little different. There was no photo and the bloke got stuck in a tree minus his kayak - now that would be a photo worth seeing!
Other sporting activities are somewhat more inventive and my favourite for the day was a group of young guys in boardies with a 4WD ute, a rope and a skimboard (or similar). With several of their number watching on, the chosen one would place the board in the water, grab hold of the rope and then attempt to mount the board and skim in the shallows at the edge of the river while his mate towed him with the ute - something like a cross between water skiing and skateboarding. Not withstanding the mess they were making of the riverbank at this point, they were actually quite good at what they were doing. Again, I'm not sure the authorities would have been impressed.
|The latest sporting craze.|
Of course, for the four wheel driving enthusiast, there is also the option of finding the biggest puddle you can and seeing if you have the guts to drive through it. This may also provide photo fodder for the Advertiser if your vehicle gets stuck. Maybe this was what one driver had in mind when he attempted to cross what would otherwise be an expanse of grass near the Moorabool Street Bridge. Once the water level reached almost to the top of his tyres he clearly decided that he wasn't equipped for serious water crossings and reversed back to higher ground. I suspect I may have missed yet another photo-opportunity.