charis_kalos (charis_kalos) wrote in fandom_flood_ap,

Update on the Victorian floods

For the past month and a half I've been spending one or two days a week in a small town called Charlton, about three hours north of Melbourne. Most of the buildings in Charlton were flooded in January; only a few houses on an area known as 'the hill' escaped.

Now, weeks later, from the outside Charlton looks normal. Hours and hours of volunteer labour have cleaned the streets, removed the rubbish, replanted gardens. Driving through you could be fooled into thinking the crisis is over.

But go inside any of the houses and you'll see that the damage done by the flood is still very much present. Inner walls have had to be removed and floors and carpets lifted. Ovens, fridges and kitchen cupboards have all been pulled out. People aren't living in the houses. They've set up camp in their garages or are living in caravans in their back yards, waiting to find out whether their insurer will pay for the damage, and whether or not the structural damage (and mould) means that their houses will have to be demolished.

And Charlton's not the worst of it. Some of the farms further north are still under water, and the water is filthy, full of sewerage and chemicals from any factories it went through. It's not going to be doing any good to the land underneath it.

The flood crisis is a long way from over. People will be needing help with the recovery and the rebuilding for years.
Tags: info, news

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