Picking up the pieces
A FIERCE two-day period of rain last Thursday and Friday flooded streets, water-ways and houses. Eldorado, just 25km away from Beech-worth, received over 200m1 of rain in a 36-hour span. Driving rain resulted in flash flooding and erosion of roads and bridges making such structures unusable. The Golden Ball Bridge will be unable to be used for months after a large volume of water eroded the approaches. Beechworth remains accessible by the Beechworth-Chiltern Road, Buckland Gap Road and Beechworth-Wodonga Road. Indigo Shire's director infrastructure ser-vices, Ian Ellett, said that while preliminary identification of damage has not yet been completed, at this point in time Golden Ball Bridge was the major piece of infrastructure in the shire to receive lasting damage. "The damage will be broad due to the na-ture of the event, but I believe the brunt of it will remain in or around Beechworth," Mr Ellett told the Ovens and Murray Advertiser. "Drains will need to be cleaned of silt, and many roads have been damaged due to ero-sion from the water." Mr Ellett said 13 private residences were flood-ed while two to three businesses also flooded. "Due to where we are located the water ris-es and falls fairly quickly in Indigo," he said. Fortunately there was no loss of life or sig-nificant injury associated with the floods. "We are still in the process of identification in terms of damage so clean up costs have not been estimated as yet," Mr Ellett said. "There is a team working through the dam-age now." In terms of impact on the town and region, Beechworth-Wangaratta Road will be unable to link the region and visitors coming off the Hume Freeway as directly as before. "Obviously for some the daily commute to Wangaratta and the like will need to find a different path," Mr Ellett said. "Transport of goods will also take a hit. "The day-to-day businesses of Beechworth as well as Wooragee and Stanley will experi-ence a hit."
OUT OF ACTION: The damaged Golden Ball Bridge on Beechworth-Wangaratta Road will take months to repair.