Lucky, despite the damage
Despite facing flash flooding, her driveway turning into a rushing water rapid and her dams bursting just a day before, Tanya El-Gamal awoke on Friday morning counting her lucky stars.
A giant tree, that once stood towering beside her Tallarook home, had fallen away from her house.
“We’re really lucky with the tree falling uphill,” she said.
“You can imagine if it fell down the hill with the slope, like it should have, we probably wouldn’t be talking.”
Ms El-Gamal’s property, Our Friend’s Farm, is a music, function and accommodation venue and farm on the edge of Tallarook, which experienced some extreme conditions during the weather event on Thursday, October 13.
There were signs earlier in the morning that it would not be a regular day when children were sent home from Seymour schools and then later, storm clouds halted work on the property.
“We were doing some work out in the paddocks and the driveway and we thought maybe we’ll wait because there’s some rain coming,” Ms El-Gamal said.
Formerly known as Bruzzy Park, the property only reopened for business under Ms El-Gamal’s new ownership in August.
Massive run-off from the hills on the property had caused damage to its driveway, which Ms El-Gamal said transformed into a rapid, meaning major repair work is required.
“All the dams have filled up and overflowed. They’ve all breached their banks,” she said.
“I’ve never seen anything flow like that on my property.
“Dabyminga Creek was really high and there were some helicopter rescues. That’s when we realised things were getting really serious.
“We started thinking, ‘Are we back in lockdown? Are we going to be able to get out?.’”
Ms El-Gamal said friends from Tallarook and Broadford arrived as conditions worsened and, for safety reasons, were forced to stay.
“It’s lucky we’ve got all the accommodation, so the kids had a good time,“she said.
Attention is now turning to the clean up and repair job so business can resume.
“When we get to the driveway, it’s going to be a big job, we need new pipes, we’ll need excavators, and now everyone’s so busy, it’s going to be hard to get anyone out here,” Ms El-Gamal said.
“For the business, we’re very lucky that none of our accommodation or facilities were damaged, just grounds.
“I do know a lot of people are losing their homes and cattle in Seymour so I’m not having a whinge because I know a lot of other people are doing it harder.
“I feel very, very lucky considering what other people are going through. I mean I’m looking at a tree that has fallen and missed everything.”