At Riverglen, volunteers band together to save their farms
If this levee bank, south of Murray Bridge, goes, the cost to local producers will be enormous. They're determined not to let that happen.
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If the Riverglen levee holds, it’ll be thanks to these volunteers.
About 30 descended on Glenbrook, the Mueller family’s dairy property at Swanport, on Tuesday to help fill and lay sandbags along the banks of the River Murray.
One team filled and tied them up in a shed; another laid plastic sheeting along the top of the levee, weighed down with bags and tyres and staked in place; and more willing hands ferried supplies and food back and forth.
Still more helpers were reaping the family’s crops at Brinkley, Ian Mueller said.
“It’s a real community effort here,” he said.
“There’s people here who weren’t asked to come, they just rang up and said ‘we’re coming’.”
If the levee broke, he said, he and other local producers – the Ruggieros, the Hands, the new owners of the Lewis’ old place – could lose the use of their low-land pastures for 12 months or more, at a collective cost likely to run into the millions of dollars.
They had put in perhaps 35,000 tonnes of clay over the past couple of months, he estimated, to try and stop that happening.
“I just don’t want to regret not doing that little bit extra that could’ve saved it,” he said.
A number of levees along the Lower Murray have either broken or become partially submerged in recent days, the State Emergency Service says.
The Wall Flat, Long Flat and Long Island levees are among the latest additions to a list which already included Mypolonga and Mobilong.
Read more: Murray Bridge flood watch
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