06 June, 2012

What a difference a day makes

As of 4pm Wednesday the Barwon has not yet peaked in Geelong. The estimated time has now been pushed out to sometime tonight or early tomorrow but the water level is definitely rising. (Updated Thursday 7th June roughly as waterlevels peaked just below the minor flood level of 2.5m, see photo below.)
Old Breakwater Bridge, Tuesday 5th June, 2:45pm

Old Breakwater Bridge, Wednesday 6th June, 1:45pm
Old Breakwater Bridge 7th June, 11:50am at peak water level

The 2 top photos were taken about a day apart, the latter just as VicRoads was preparing to close the bridge to traffic.
VLine train crossing the flooded Barwon River
I also took the opportunity to take some photos which I doubt have been seen before as the new Breakwater Bridge endures its first flooding event.
Rail bridge and Old Breakwater Bridge in flood 6th June
as seen from the new bridge
At other points along the river through Geelong, things were also progressing as they usually do. Below is the view from Queen's Park this afternoon:
Queen's Park in flood from above
Elsewhere, the path opposite the rowing sheds was under water by this morning, the mill race at the paper mill was overflowing:
The paper mill at Buckley Falls
and a little upstream, the Bunyip Pool was well on the way to becoming a turbulent mass of water:
Water levels rising at the Bunyip Pool, 6th June, 2012
I also noticed that the resident bird life has been quick to take advantage of what I assume is an increase in available food sources as insects and perhaps even fish are driven from their normal homes.
One of a pair of pelicans catching breakfast in the shallows of the
flood waters this morning near the Moorabool Street Bridge

Mudlark with an insect driven out by the rising waters
As of Friday morning, water levels are receding. As predicted, the river peaked in Geelong around midday Thursday  at 2.42m just below the minor flood level (2.5m). Earlier predictions of about 2.8m were not realized.
Whilst this is by no means a record-breaking flood event, there are still some interesting statistics which have arisen from the recent weather. The Geelong Advertiser carried an article today which pointed out that the rain which fell between Sunday afternoon and Tuesday (about 61mm) was the largest in a 3 day period in June since 1952, which it will be remembered, was the year of Geelong's "great flood". The rainfall on Monday also approached the record for the single wettest June day on record which occurred on 1st June, 1939.
However, with no further significant rain forecast for the present, river height records of the past are safe for now.

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