One Hell of a Birthday

It’s my birthday today and it will be memorable for all the wrong reasons.

Kerang (about 40 minutes drive from us) is besieged by water – the town is cut off and those who have remained (many evacuated early) are desperately sandbagging the power sub station. It that goes under water then power for Kerang, Cohuna and Swan Hill will be cut along with various other towns.

Horsham is slowly drying out after being inundated with flood waters and many more towns are struggling to keep themselves dry as the waters slowly progress towards us.  While the damage may not be as great as some of what Queensland experienced please keep Victoria in your thoughts and prayers as so many livelihoods, homes, businesses and farms here are being effected by these flood waters as well.

There are now clear indications that we will experience some water damage but as yet it’s still unsure how much or where. There have been meetings called for residents of Swan Hill, Pental Island and Tyntynder tomorrow so that we can be updated as to what is happening.  There are rumors by the dozen floating around (pardon the pun)  – everything from the town will be completely washed away to the water will miraculously disappear.  I’m not taking any notice of them but we are closing monitoring the radio to find out what is happening.   One report we have heard is that the channel that runs not far from us may flood and as it winds its way through most of the town that’s a real concern.  Apparently though authorities are doing all they can to protect the channel from flooding and therefore the residents of Swan Hill. 

Are people panicking?  Well to be honest I think there is a lot of worry – which is fairly understandable considering the circumstances.  Already there has been some serious shopping being done and many people (after hearing there may be a petrol shortage) have filled their cars.  As I said before there are all sorts of silly rumors doing the rounds and the crap I have seen on a social networking site (of which I am not a fan but Elise has been showing me what people are saying) is unbelievable. I might add Elise is getting really fed up with how some can exaggerate a situation and is rapidly loosing patience with the whole thing.   How on earth people can say some of the things they do with no factual basis is beyond me – but I guess some will say whatever and unfortunately others believe.  There has also been a text message doing the rounds saying Swan Hill was to be evacuated but those in charge quickly stopped that rumor thank goodness.

Ashley’s phone hasn’t stopped all afternoon and he has to go out and hook up yet another generator tomorrow to make sure that certain infrastructure will be still operational.After that who knows.

We have made the decision that if the worst comes to the worst we will stay and defend the house until we have to go and so long as we are not in any danger.  I am clinging to the fact that 12 years ago when we were building this house we had 5 inches of rain in 24 hours and while the house was surrounded by water – it did remain dry inside.  My sewing room has lots of stuff lifted up high.  The kids have packed all their school books and clothes in case we need to get out.  There is more to do but much of it will wait until after the town meeting.

Thankfully before the time  the Queensland floods started we had decided that an  emergency kit was needed ie the bus would be our home away from home – and we have been slowly stocking it with all the essentials in case we need to live in it for a while.  I have said it before and I will say it again – if you don’t have an emergency kit and plan then you should have.  And if you haven’t started then get your butt into gear and get on with it. Waiting for a rainy day, flooding or a fire is too late!

Now despite all that I had a lovely birthday tea with Ashley, the children and Mum.  I received some beautiful and very useful presents – many of which I had asked for ie a bag of potting mix from James (to pot up some more potatoes)  and a scented candle from Nicola as I was sick of smelling citronella candles burning all the time.  Elise gave me pj’s, some salad tongs  (I didn’t have any) and some peppermint foot cream. Yumm.  Mum gave me half a dozen lovely champagne flutes which I intend to fill with expensive Ice Wine (made from frozen grapes and about $70 for a bottle that only holds as much as a can of coke!!!) and celebrate the fact we made it through all of this drama.

Where ever you are and whatever your circumstances. Stay safe. It’s easy to say “it’s just stuff and not important in the over all scheme of things” – and to a large degree that’s true – but it’s harder when there is the very real potential loss of your life’s work and home.  While I joke that I wanted new things deep down I want my things…..but most of all I want my family safe and all of this over and done with.

My thoughts and prayers are with those who have lost so much and for those who are still battling floods.

Stay Safe


12 thoughts on “One Hell of a Birthday

  1. Praying for safety of you all up there and minimal damage to places, possessions etc…have friends on a dairy farm at Kerang…praying that their power stays on for milking. You tend to forget all that stuff in the city still someone kinks your mind into gear again.
    Take care and go glad you are prepared……Happy Birthday.

  2. Hello (I’m a lurker)! It is my birthday today too! *AND* my daughter’s in her five-year-old awesomeness! Us two starting our birthdays are sending you at the end of your birthday our best wishes and praying for the continued safety of all the people who are affected by the horrible floods (and all our relatives over in OZ).
    Happy birthday you birthday-sharer you!

  3. Oh Catherine, how heart-wrenching for you. I am heaping positive good thoughts out into the ether that the water has miraculously disappeared.

  4. Hello Catherine, It’s so good that you’ve got the bus! Don’t forget to pack the computer and the dye-stuff and Mum!!! You are on my mind as I’m hearing that the water is getting closer to your part of the world. What a terrible thing these floods in Qld, NSW and Victoria are – when I think that over this side of the country it is dry, drought and fires. Anyway, God bless and stay safe.
    Love Viv

  5. Catherine I have been wondering what the news is for you guys, and yes it is easy to find a hundred rumours isn’t it. I hope it is not as bad as expected.
    You will always remember this birthday – I hope it is because of what DOESN’t happen

  6. Catherine

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family and everyone else who has been affected by these awful floods. We can only watch the TV pictures we get here in the UK and hope you are all alright.

  7. Thinking of you Catherine, and you are doing all the right things. I hope that you get to keep all YOUR stuff. My mum and sisters are on the river in Mildura so it is close to home for me too.

  8. Myh parents friends live in Kerang and now cant leave so I am hoping they will be okay with everything during the rise of water levels. Everyone seems to be suffering this year dont they. I hope you and your family stay safe too.

  9. Catherine so sorry I missed your birthday we were away at John’s mom’s house and I had no Internet access. Was listening to the news this afternoon and my heart took a flip when they mentioned the flooding in Victoria state and Swan Hill was next. I thought of you all the way home in the car. Prayers will be sent your way that the flooding isn’t too bad and that all of your property (and others is safe). God bless and take care. Oh and Happy Belated Birthday.

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