Location: Manning Valley
Date: June 2011

June 18, 2011. As I wrote the Waffle page today and mentioned how well the new road outside my house survived the recent torrential rains, I discovered that I hadn't posted the album of all the pics I took of the roadworks back in March 2010. So here it is! Click here for the photo album.

June 17, 2011. Yesterday, I went shopping after several days of staying indoors out of the torrential rain. I knew there would be some local flooding but I wasn't expecting what I saw downtown. Queen Elizabeth Park which runs along the bank of the Manning River on the east side of the Martin Bridge was entirely underwater, as well as the road that runs along the foreshore. I discovered later that far more damage had occurred further up and down stream but I only ventured as far as the Taree CBD.

Here's a shot of the park I took a few years ago. And here's another one. All that area was submerged yesterday. Here's a shot I took from the park looking toward the war memorial.

The first flooded area I noticed as I drove down Commerce St toward the bridge was the council carpark just a block from my house. It was a huge lake! Then I parked in Victoria St and walked over to the river park where I took a few pics. There were quite a few people there with cameras. At the bottom of Pultney St (which used to lead to the old punt before the bridge was built in 1940) the water was still lapping at the foundations of the city council building on the west side of the street, and the old RSL club on the east side. There's a restaurant on the ground floor of the old RSL club and I spoke to the owner who told me that the water was lapping just below the window sills when the river peaked the previous night. Had it gone inside, it would have ruined the carpet and furnishings. But we joked about issuing diners with wet suits and snorkels. "But how on earth would you pour the wine?" I asked. One of the restaurant staff was outside hosing silt from the roadway so that customers wouldn't walk the stuff into the premises.

The restaurateur said he was lucky, and spoke of the seafood restaurant downstream at Manning Point, which is right on the water's edge at the mouth of the Manning. He said it would have been devastated. Meanwhile, this flood has been the worst for 30 years. The last BIG one occurred back in 1978. And there I was at home blissfully unaware that just two blocks away all this was going on!

Actually, there's a rowing club a bit further along from where I was. It stores all the boats underneath at ground level. I sure hope they got all the boats out before the flood. The sailing club is down that way too with a restaurant right on the riverbank.

One neighbor I spoke to said that she's never seen rain like it. "I've been in Cairns (tropical north Queensland) and seen the monsoonal rain up there but nothing like Taree's been getting this week." Click here for the photo album.


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