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Temporary levee may be built to protect Mypolonga township
Community members are making contingency plans in case the coming River Murray floods turn out to be as bad as the forecasts predict.
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A temporary levee may be built to protect the township of Mypolonga if the main River Murray barrier fails.
That was one of the measures discussed at a community meeting at the town’s sporting club on Tuesday night.
More than 100 people turned up on only a few days’ notice to hear the latest flood information from the State Emergency Service, Murray Bridge council and other authorities.
The council’s Heather Barclay said the community needed to prepare for a world in which the levee broke, the swamps were flooded, low-lying properties were threatened and sections of South Bokara and North Bokara Roads became blocked, possibly for weeks.
Maps on pin-up boards showed the areas floodwaters were projected to reach.
“By and large, you can see the floodplains are (going to be) flooded even at 175 gigalitres,” she said, referring to last week’s forecast flood peak.
“Whether that actually happens on the ground, that’s another thing.”
Still, engineers would visit the town in the coming days to plan works that might be required, she said.
One option could be building a temporary levee around the bottom end of the township, protecting the primary school and nearby houses.
Other levees around the district were likely to be breached, too, progress association chair Steve Hein said, including Toora’s – “we don’t expect that to last long at all”.
Irrigators would have to move pumps and water meters before floodwaters – or power cuts – arrived, or risk bills running into the tens of thousands of dollars.
Residents were told that the floods might affect them in unexpected ways.
If the bottom road were closed due to flooding, some might have difficulties getting in and out of their homes, even on high ground.
If anything went wrong with the Mypolonga pump station while it was surrounded by floodwaters, the town’s water supply might have to be cut off.
It would be better to make plans to go and stay with friends or family members before any of that happened, the SES’ representative warned.
Mr Hein agreed.
“If the levee breaches … don’t wait til the last minute til you do anything,” he said.
“We all hope and pray it’s not going to happen, but … we’ve seen and heard what the people who’ve been in the town before us talk about: ‘74 and ‘56 and plenty of others in between.
“Let’s do what we can as a community to keep this amazing little area (safe).”
Mypolonga Progress Association has organised a working bee this Saturday and Sunday from 8.30am, to help anyone who needs help to prepare.
Sandbag sand is now available at Mypolonga Memorial Oval, too.
Request assistance at the working bee: 0407 769 250.
More information about River Murray floods: Visit www.sa.gov.au or call 1800 362 361.
Get help: Call the SES on 132 500 or, in a life-threatening emergency, call 000.
Read more: River Murray flood watch
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