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East Gippsland caravan parks rise above flood, fire and drought

July 02, 2007
East Gippsland caravan parks rise above flood, fire and drought

Caravan Parks are operating normally in East Gippsland today. Mitchell Gardens, at Bairnsdaleis the exception but is cleaning up and Shean Banson said from the low-lying caravan park today that he expects to be open in a fortnight.

Caravan parks in and around Paynesville are open and operating. Allawah Tourist and Boat Park which backs onto a canal at Paynesville had floodwaters over cabin ground level pavers, but this did not enter the cabins. There is no flooding now.

Sale Motor Village is open and at Lakes Entrance at the other end of theGippsland Lakes chainthe Information centre says caravan parks are all go.

Overall there is a 98 percent recovery from flooding already the Lakes EntranceInformation Centre said today.

Boat ramps on rivers and the Gippsland Lakes chain should be treated with caution. Many are still underwater.

VICSES State Operations Director, Trevor White, asked travellers to help the people of Gippsland fight back from the triple impacts of drought, fire and flood.

Spare a thought for the people affected by this spate of natural disasters. Support the people of East Gippsland by visiting the area and spending your tourist dollars where they are needed most.

All flood levels continue to fall and fluctuations in the lakes are stabilising Victoria's State Emergency Service says.
Flood levels continue to drop at about 100mm per night although this will slow with tidal influences.

Flood Warning Summary
Issued at 10:07am today Wednesday July 11.
The following warnings are current:
Flood Warning for the Gippsland Lakes:
Minor Flood Warning for the Macalister River Downstream of Lake Glenmaggie.
Moderate Flood Warning for the Thomson River at Sale.
Minor Flood Warning for the Snowy River around and Downstream of McKillops
Final Flood Warning for the Buckland River.

Flood Warning for the Gippsland Lakes
Issued at 10:16am today Wednesday July 11.
There is still a large volume of water flowing into the Gippsland Lakes.
For the remainder of Wednesday wind direction variable to 10 knots.
High tides at Lakes Entrance are expected at 6:05pm Wednesday and at 7:02am
Thursday. The Wednesday afternoon tide will be higher than the Thursday morning tide.
The high inflows to the Gippsland Lakes, are expected to lead to continued high water levels in the Gippsland Lakes, with the levels also falling and rising with the tides. High water levels will continue in parts of the Gippsland Lakes today.
Communities including Paynesville, Raymond Island, Lakes Entrance, Metung, LochSport, Hollands Landing and Seacombe are at risk from flooding from the
Gippsland Lakes.

VICROADS information on highway and roadsshould be obtained from VICROADS web site. The bulldozed track to Licola is open to emergency vehicles and local residents traffic only.

Due to undermining of some roads by flood waters pot holes are appearing and motorists should take extreme care when traversing roads in the flood affected areas.

The amount of daily rise and fall of floodwaters will depend on the combined interaction of tides, wind, and inflows from various lakes and rivers as the water finally flows to the ocean.

Mosquito numbers are starting to be recorded at high levels and repellent together with suitable protective clothing such as long sleeve shirts etc. should be worn.
A number of snakes have also been located having been washed down in the flood waters and great care must be taken when working in the vicinity of the flood area.

States are working together in Australia's run of natural disasters. Deployments of VICSES volunteers assisted NSWSES with their flood and storm recovery. They went to one of the worst hit areas in NSW the area around Gosford and Wyong north of Sydney tarping roofs and clearing fallen trees.

In East Gippsland and the Gippsland Lakes flooding rivers and a king high tide on Saturday, June 30 brought an end of financial year peak 1.33m above normal levels at Lakes Entrance. Raymond Island, Burrabogie Island, Loch Sport and the Hollands Landing Caravan Park were evacuated the State Emergency Service said. Golden Beach did not require evacuation.

Some parts of Paynesville, Raymond (about 350 people) and Burrabogie Islandwere isolated. It is only five months since East Gippsland people faced some of the biggest bushfires in Australian history. Now this is being followed by storms in NSW and Victoria and flooding rain along the East coast of Australia. Bushfires last summer have made the flood conditions worse.

More than 1,000 bushfires menaced Victorian communities over 69 days during a blazing Australian drought summer.

Millions of hectares of land was blackened, in Victoria, NSW, SA and WA. In Victoria's north and east communities were hardest hit.

State Emergency Service spokesman John O'Brien told ABC radio with nothing to hold it and allow natural soaking in storm rains which hit blackened, drought stricken East Gippsland poured off the ground and into creeks.

What has changed is that instead of a gentler release of water from the forest areas or the catchment areas, it has run immediately to creeks and then run immediately down the systems and it hasn't been retained in the vegetation, he said.

In 1998, the Victorian government declared a state of emergency as some of the worst flooding in the region's history inundated farms and towns, leaving a damage bill estimated at $45 million.

In 2001, floodwaters in Gippsland caused the Tarwin River to burst its banks, isolating several hundred people in the fishing community of Tarwin Lower.

Victoria Police remind all road users to obey road closure signage.
A $113 fine can be imposed for unauthorised entry to restricted areas.
Information for road closures can be obtained from the VicRoads website

Stay tuned to ABC Local Radio and the online stream for the latest updates.

Please do not drive your car in floodwaters.
Please do not go sight-seeing in flood areas.

Emergency and general information numbers:
For general enquiries about the floods, call VICSES on 1300 842 737
In case of immediate emergency call the SES hotline 132 500

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