Pick­ing up the pieces

Ovens & Murray Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - BY CAM POT­TER cpot­[email protected]­me­dia.com.au

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."

PHOTO: Beth Hul­ley

OUT OF AC­TION: The dam­aged Golden Ball Bridge on Beech­worth-Wan­garatta Road will take months to re­pair.

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