Downpour spurs memories of flood

Inge Osarek

It seems almost in-comprehensible, until the rain started to fall this week, that this time one year ago Inge Osarek’s home along with the land as far as the eye could see around her Little River property was awash with the dirty, debris-filled water that was spilling out of the Goobarragandra River.

Currently with barely a blade of green grass on her property, Mrs Osarek has welcomed the recent rain that has replenished the earth, settled the dust and put an end for the moment to her irrigating the dry paddocks.

Living at the farm for over 40 years, Mrs Osarek said she had never seen anything like the amount of water that arrived on March 1, then again on March 4, of 2012.

“Those floods are the worst I have ever seen,” Mrs Osarek said. “In the 2010 floods the water was nothing like the 2012 ones. I wouldn’t leave in the earlier floods, but I had no choice in last year’s ones.”

There have been no substantial downpours since to cause Mrs Osarek to worry her like the deluge to the area received in those four days in March 2012. She does admit though, she keeps an eye on the weather maps, just in case.

“I’ve been watching the heavy clouds in the sky and the weather forecasts,” she said.

“I hope not to see another flood in my lifetime, but you never know with the weather we are getting around the country at the mo-ment.”

Hailing from Pales-tine, Mrs Osarek is a woman that is impos-sible to forget. Even as she returned to her home as the flood wa-ters subsided last year,

her heart breaking and her mind racing as where to start, she could still offer a smile that extended to her eyes with a comforting word about others who also suffered in the flooding.

The strength that carried her through the early days of cleaning up the mud that cov-ered every surface the water had lapped at and bringing her house back into order, remains.

Only this week she had been up clearing out gutters full of dirt, not the normal activity of a lady in her mature years.

Her capable ways have been bolstered by her family over the past 12 months. She said she couldn’t have asked for more from them.

“My family have helped me so much,” Mrs Osarek said. “The clean up is nearly fin-ished, the last major moving was done just before Christmas. There was an awful lot to do. The shed is still full though.

“My family could not do enough for me.”

On the Thursday of the floods the water peaked just over the skirting boards throughout the house. The depth around the paddocks and speed at which it rose surprised Mrs Osarek, who was rescued from the ris-ing tide, begrudgingly and only due to police orders, by her neighbour Tim Malone.

By Sunday when the water rose higher than anyone could remember, the entire house including cupboards were soaked. The water was a full brick higher on the outside of the house after the second inundation.

“I read through the local papers after the floods, which was interesting because there were things I didn’t know that had also happened,” Mrs Osarek said.

“I couldn’t believe the landslides and some of the other flooding that had happened.”