Flooding leaves behind mud, mould and devastation
Claude Masiero stands in the doorway of his holiday shack by the Murray River, looking out at the destruction flooding has left behind.
Inside the downstairs room, the tiled floor is covered in dirt. The muck climbs the walls, coating the doors and windows in thick, dark strokes.
It settles in clumps on their frames, and splotches of grey and green mould scatter the ceiling - where the water nearly reached when Scotts Creek was hit.
Trees have keeled over with the force of the floods, and the water has torn through concrete.
The clean-up effort for Mr Masiero and his neighbours has just begun in earnest, with the access road to the community northeast of Adelaide having only reopened last Sunday.
"People ask what it's like and my response is, generally, it's a bit sad," Mr Masiero told AAP.
"The landscape is all grey - it's all washed away and all the life is gone."
Scotts Creek, home to a handful of permanent residents and many more holiday shacks, was among the communities inundated as floodwaters from southeast Australia bloated the Murray River late last year.
Roads to the community were closed in mid-October, and owners had one weekend to pack up what they could and get the rest to higher ground.
Mr Masiero cleared out furniture and other belongings, but by the time he and his family were made aware floodwaters were going to be higher than originally indicated, it was too late to get back in and move equipment.
He returned on a jet ski in late December and could almost step off onto his first-floor balcony.
"It's all clean because you've got the water at its peak," he said.
"It makes a bit of a difference when the water starts dropping down and you see the devastation that's left behind."
Months later, he is "up to his elbows" in mud, but he emphasises many of his neighbours are much worse off.
Mr Masiero's family, who live in Adelaide, have had the Scotts Creek property for about 25 years. They demolished and rebuilt the shack about 14 years ago.
"Some of the houses down there have had water on their second level quite high," he said.
"Whether they completely demolish ... I don't know."
The community is waiting for insurance assessors to come through and start taking stock of the damage.
While the future is unclear, Mr Masiero looks forward to when the landscape is rejuvenated and life returns to it.
"We've only just been able to get in there," he said.
The South Australian government on Monday announced tourism vouchers would be used to lure travellers to areas of the state hit hard by the Murray River flooding.
About 4000 properties including shacks, homes, and businesses were inundated or impacted in some way as water rose to levels not witnessed since the record floods of 1956.