Boyne Valley battles with bad roads and mobile service
TRACEY Byrne lives in Nagoorin on an 8000sqm block and was cut off for a short time by the huge amount of rainfall generated by Ex-Tropical Cyclone Oswald.
She said they were affected not so much by the floods but more by the huge amount of water on their block from the rain and it was pouring in from the front at Monto Rd as well as from the acreages on the Ubobo side of them, as well as from the grass road behind.
"It got to a stage where the water had no where to go and was banking up," she said.
Ms Byrne said it was just an ocean of water and her poultry had no dry land.
Yesterday morning Ms Byrne took her 10-year-old, Caillean, to school at Builyan and was able to see the true extent of damage in the townships of the Boyne Valley.
"We were in the bigger car because there are a few sections of road between Littlemore and Builyan that are really bad," she said.
"The bitumen has been literally ripped off and tossed around either to the side, in among the vegetation, or in huge mounds all over the road.
"We saw a couple of head of cattle that were obviously injured and sore from their experiences."
She said the road between Nagoorin and Marble Creek (Milton) was bad as well, with a similar story between Littlemore and Builyan.
"Between Nagoorin and Milton there are cattle being fed on the bitumen road because their property (the dairy) is so wet and soggy the bitumen is the only dry ground for them."
Yesterday morning there were people banding together to fix fences that have literally been ripped apart.
Ms Byrne said some of the worst damage she has seen so far has been when she went out along Mt Hector Rd to see what it was like because she has a friend out there and wanted to take photos for her.
"The first causeway was like a raging ocean of water...But the worst damage I have seen is on the road toward Builyan. But I hear that Blackmans Gap is also closed and the council workers from here in the Valley were there this morning trying to clear a path so we have some way of exiting or for others to get back home. Three men from Builyan and Many Peaks came home on Sunday I think by helicopter to be with their families."
She continued: "I have seen pictures of pot holes with a man standing in it to show the scale and the water in the pothole was up to his neck.
"I have seen huge holes dug out on the side of the road along Monto Road."
Ms Byrne said she knew of many people who had lost stock and fencing and that the local dairy was having to dump thousands of litres of milk every day as the trucks cannot get out there to collect it.
"My husband is an electrician and he went yesterday (Monday) with his gumboots in hand to help Dave at the dairy and together they fixed a pipe that had gone due to the floods which enabled water to be back on at the dairy shed and today my husband has gone back to help with some other work that needed doing. People are just helping each other out."
Ms Byrne said the valley community needed people to realise when Awoonga Dam overflows it means the water needs to come from somewhere and that somewhere is the Boyne Valley: "When we get flooded out here we are cut off for days maybe even weeks."
Ms Byrne said that when people in the Boyne Valley lose power it also means they lose access to their water as they don't have town water but rather rain water tanks or bore water.
Losing the phones and internet also meant that they had no way to find out anything or communication with each other to check each other was alright.
Ms Byrne said one important thing that is needed in the Boyne Valley, especially once you get past Boynedale Bushcamp, is mobile service.
She said that they live in a black hole for mobile reception and internet is her main form of correspondence.
"I guess what we want out here is for people to know we exist," she said, explaining that it seemed like the community was forgotten.
Ms Byrne said one thing she noticed is people helping each other no matter who they are or what they do, with everyone trying to make sure everyone was okay.
Ms Byrne's neighbour let them borrow his spare generator and then another local had a few spare and he lent them out to other people and then those who had generators were helping those keep their food cold.
According to Ms Byrne this generosity is what makes the area of Boyne Valley such a great place to live.