‘I’ve never seen so much water’: Victorian town flooded

Paul Dowsley

A Victorian town has been flooded after receiving almost a month’s worth of rain in a matter of hours, forcing a town of 1000 to band together.

The Bureau had warned the town of Coleraine, in Victoria’s west, to expect heavy rainfall on Thursday night, but almost 50mm came down.

“I’ve never seen it like this,” resident Annie Deveries said. “”Never (seen) so much water.”

An aerial shot of Coleraine. Source: 7News
Locals pitching in on the ground. Source: 7News

Locals used heavy machinery and rushed to fill sandbags to build levies and barricades as the water quickly rose.

“Yeah, it’s pretty scary ‘cause we couldn’t control it of course,” Paul Bosch said.

Mr Bosch, from the local IGA, said his business had been damaged in the floodwaters.

The flooding has swamped homes and businesses in Coleraine. Photo: Dean Miller
The local footy field has been inundated with water. Photo: Dean Miller

“We’ve had to turn fridges and everything off to make sure we don’t have any electrical problems,” he said.

“It came up through the boards, through the floor and through the pipe work and into the fridges.

“There was literally a river, coming underneath our fridge.”

Homes were also swamped in the floodwaters, including father-of-two James Beaton’s.

The town is cut off the west. Source: 7News
The clean-up inside the IGA. Source: 7News

Mr Beaton said the family were unwrapping presents for his daughter’s second birthday when they made the decision to pack up the cars and leave.

“The children were obviously freaking out a little bit,” he said.

“We literally had enough time to open the presents before we had to get out.

“In my head I wasn’t sure what I should get out, what I should keep there. But realistically, everything in the house above waist deep is gone.”

Some locals made the most of the water. Source: 7News
Cars were caught in the floodwaters. Source: 7News

Garage bins and children’s toys floated away with residents using boats to save what they could.

Animals were caught up in the rising water levels, with a sheep plucked from the water after struggling to swim, and a tiger snake found coming through the water.

Coleraine is expected to remain cut off from the west until at least Saturday, waiting for the water to subside.