Savage thunderstorm brings crush to a standstill
CRUSHING operations came to an unscheduled halt around 8.40pm on Wednesday, October 28 when severe thunderstorms impacted the region.
The full brunt of the storm was felt at the Isis Mill, where trees were uprooted, powerlines came down, roofs were damaged, drainage systems overflowed and cane bins were blown off track.
Around 100mm of rain fell in a short period of time swelling gullies and creeks to overflowing, flooding roads and rail crossings.
The safety of all stakeholders was paramount and crushing operations were halted when it was deemed too dangerous to attempt repairs in the dark.
The clean-up began at first light and by 9.30am on Thursday the mill recommenced operations to process the cane that was harvested prior to the storm.
The strong wind that accompanied the storm flattened cane crops, but the rain was very welcome and most locations recorded in excess of 50mm of rainfall for the week with some areas recording more than 150mm.
The mill processed 56,085.36 tonnes for week 20 which brought the year-to-date figure to 1,247,810.65 tonnes.
There is estimated to be around 35,000 tonnes left to harvest for the 2015 crushing season.
CCS for the week dropped slightly to be 15.02 units and the year-to-date figure now stands at 14.29 units.
The highest individual CCS for the week was 18.03 units which was recorded by a Sharon grower who supplied the variety Q208 4R.
Harvesting of the remaining crop was set to recommence on Sunday, November 1 in the Wallaville and South Kolan area and on Monday in all other locations.
Demand for wet weather equipment has increased and field staff will work with contractors and growers to co-ordinate the full utilisation of the available machinery.
The mill was expected to recommence crushing on Monday with the 2015 crushing season expected to be completed late in the week, weather permitting.