Reflections from ResilientCo Managing Director Brett Ellis :
It’s a marathon not a sprint. I’ve heard those words a lot in the Ganawarra Shire as they face the creeping threat of flood.
Flood water in and around Kerang flows differently to those that I am used to.
Kerang is at a confluence of rivers, dry lakes and creeks that during major rain events turn the district into an inland sea 50km wide.
The rains in the south (around Ballarat and Bendigo) take a while to reach the town but eventually do.
This week ResilientCo has been part of a team of agencies, Ganawarra Shire council staff and community organisations focused on supporting the community to make the decisions to self evacuate, respond to weeping levees, and thinking and doing all things possible to best prepare this town which could possibly be isolated and completely surrounded by water.
There’s a lot of knowledge in the town, in council and the agencies because they’ve been here before, most recently in 2011.
It’s a test of resilience, of patience, of strategy and planning as the water moves, laps at the levees and threatens.
As part of the planning, we facilitated an exercise that considers the worst case scenario of a breach in the levee, and will work through the additional mitigations, preparation and response actions, including what it would mean to evacuate the remaining residents in town if that was required.
It’s a challenging time for council, agencies and community, including both those who have left and those who have stayed to this point.