Like most of Australia’s east coast, the last couple of weeks have been very soggy here. We’re talking 350mm of rain in six days soggy.
While we’re loving the full water tanks and dams, not to mention the green everywhere you look, we’re also learning (and relearning) the hard way that lots of rain can mean lots of pain when you live in a rural area.
This is the second time in 12 months we’ve experienced a flood event in a major way here. And by major, I mean in the *roads in and out metres underwater, cut off from town for a few days* kind of way.
Both floods have schooled us in a few realities we weren’t quite expecting (or didn’t quite understand the depth of) when we tree changed.
Our flood learning highlights now include:
You really are on your own in an emergency
While it can be fun to play hooky from appointments because you don’t have a boat ready to row into town, it’s not so much fun when you have a human or animal emergency to manage. Like trying to get to a vet or wildlife carer with a wombat who escaped a flooded burrow only to end up with pneumonia. Spoiler alert: that story did not have a happy ending ☹
Phone and internet service providers lie when they say coverage isn’t impacted by bad weather
We’re now at the point where we can almost pick when our internet and mobile coverage will disappear based on wind speed, rainfall and/or cloud cover.
While this is a great party trick, it’s not so handy when you work from home and need to speak with people!
Lots of hard work can get wiped out in the blink of an eye
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, we’ve done a lot of work on drainage to prevent the roads in and around our place from going under water in lousy weather.
But we’ve learned the hard way that those plans can come undone pretty quickly if your uphill neighbours also have a drainage problem.
On the plus side, we got to name the new temporary white-water river gushing down the hillside as it rapidly wiped out our newly built road…
Another hard lesson learned is that floodwaters are fantastic for redistributing weeds. We’re now holding our breath to see just how much serrated tussock and blackberry seeds have found their way back into our bottom paddock.
No matter how good a driver you think you are, you will get bogged!
While there will be no naming and shaming, the winch has been brought out to rescue bogged cars/utes/trucks four times this month and counting.
While these lessons seem very gloomy, there are some good things we’ve learned along the way, too. Namely:
- We’ve worked out how to predict when the main road & bridge into town will go underwater with enough notice to duck into town and back for an emergency supplies top-up.
- We’ve discovered we do live in a nice little community with many good neighbours who are willing to help out with emergency supplies if needed!
Anyway, the sun is back out, and things are drying out, so we’re now off to prepare for our next adventure.
They do say the plague follows fire and floods, right?