Monday, August 8, 2011

Outback floods leave their mark

Every day on my walk along the river with Major I marvel at the incredible amount of water that roars down the Maranoa when it floods -- usually during the summer.

High up in the branches of river red gums hang ribbons of flood debris that fly like flags in the treetops. Fringes of bleached grasses perch like exotic weavings; while logs wedge high up against the pylons of the bridge, suggesting huge force.

The Maranoa has not flooded the township of Mitchell for a very long time. Our safeguard seems to be the fact that the riverbed is deep and wide, and the Maranoa is the fastest flowing river in Queensland. Consequently, flood waters get away -- quickly.

While travelling through other areas of the Australian outback, it's common to see evidence of flooding. In one town I remember seeing a small row boat caught high up in the branches of a river gum. It was a comical sight, but also a very telling one.

Living alongside the Maranoa River here in Mitchell does not concern me. I love the outlook and I'm not expecting a flood that would spill over the road and into our home. On the other hand, I think it prudent to leave as many of our possessions above floor level as possible when we leave Mitchell to travel to Phillip Island over the summer months.

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