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Darraweit Guim ‘hardest hit’ by floods in Macedon Ranges

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Max Davies
Max Davies
Max is a journalist for the North Central Review. He joined the paper as a cadet journalist in 2021 and graduated from La Trobe University in 2023. He takes a keen interest in motorsport and the automotive industry.

By Max Davies

MACEDON Ranges Shire Council has labelled Darraweit Guim as the shire’s hardest hit town in the floods earlier this month, with multiple houses, businesses and facilities severely damaged by floodwaters.

Darraweit Guim Primary School, the neighbouring Darraweit Guim Tennis Club and public toilets, and at least nine houses were submerged in floodwaters from the nearby Deep Creek despite early efforts to protect the town against rising waters.

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The marquee, residence and workroom at Darraweit Valley Cider House were also affected, with equipment and trees damaged.
Darraweit Guim CFA captain Mark Spedding there was little that could be done to stop the floods.

“We saw that Lancefield got a lot of rain on Wednesday but it continued to rain overnight, so the creeks continued to fill from Number Three Creek and the water level kept rising,” he said.

“We tried sandbagging the spots around the creek where water usually gets a bit high on Thursday morning, but obviously the water rose about a metre and a half above that and it was up to the road by lunchtime.”

Mr Spedding said there was some support from the State Emergency Service on Thursday morning, however crews were not on hand when the floods began to hit the town.

“There wasn’t much the CFA could do, if it was a fire you could send out some trucks and put it out, but you can’t put out a flood,” he said.

“We didn’t have to put out an emergency because everyone was safe, everyone was able to get out of their homes and head up the hill if the water got close.”

Darraweit Guim Primary School was hardest hit with every room and facility damaged, including school equipment such as iPads, laptops, books, and sporting equipment.

The school’s historic bluestone building was submerged in more than two metres of water.

School principal Carrol Booker said the school had some warning but could not prevent the flood damage.

“We got alerted on Wednesday that the creek might flood so we had a bit of warning, but no one could have predicted how bad it would be,” she said.

“The bluestone building was completely damaged, there were fridges and benches tipped over and moved across the room. There wasn’t one classroom, staffroom, building or shed that wasn’t affected by the water in some way.”

Repairs to Darraweit Guim Primary School are currently being taken out by Department of Education contractors, while the school’s students and staff are temporarily housed at Wallan Primary School.

“Wallan Primary School has been amazing in helping us settle in, they’ve given us a space at the library which is great, but there’s no place like home,” Ms Booker said.

“The cleanup is going to take several weeks. It’s a big process because it’s basically a rebuild, but we’re hoping to get back as soon as possible because it’s a bit of shellshock for the students and our small school.

“The staff have come together, which is really good to see, it takes a bit of a toll but the Darraweit Guim community has always been so supportive, especially over the past few years. We will rebuild and we will be back.”

Darraweit Guim residents can access Romsey Transfer Station to dispose of household waste for free, with temporary extended opening hours arranged until October 27.

For more information, visit mrsc.vic.gov.au/transfer-stations or call 5422 0333.

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