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3 March 2012 / leggypeggy

Gurgle, slosh, squelch—Canberra under water

Lake Burley Griffin with the National Library in the distance.

After 10 years of drought, Canberra and much of Australia continue to get the downpour they’ve been hanging out for. There’s rain, rain and more rain.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much heavenly water in such a short time. Canberra got 5 inches in about 36 hours. I think there’s been another 2 inches since late this morning—it’s 10:30pm now—but I’m not heading out to the rain gauge to check.

But the rain is affecting all of eastern Australia. According to the news, everywhere east of Adelaide is being dowsed. The rivers are rising and whole communities are being evacuated, along with the cherished belongings they can carry. Farm animals are being moved to higher (although not dry) ground, and pets are being taken to shelters for care.

Speaking of pets. Yesterday morning in Canberra, there was a slight lull in the deluge, so we trotted the dogs out in a constant drizzle—the dogs being Louie, Bailey, Chiyo and Merlin (pics another day because they weren’t looking very pretty).

Instead of tackling the bush path up Mount Ainslie, which would have been pure mud soup, we headed to Lake Burley Griffin, the city’s central showpiece.

The aftermath of the torrential rain is very apparent. I’ve never seen so much debris and muck washed up against the shoreline.

I didn’t have the camera with me at the time, but raced home after the walk and went back to get a few snaps to share here. The pictures speak for themselves.

I’ll check the lake again tomorrow, with camera in tow. I heard on the news tonight that water and debris are spilling over Scrivener Dam, the structure that created the lake to begin with. This is a little worrying. Apparently the 20 huge bolts in the sluice gates need to be replaced—at $140,000 a bolt. Until that happens, the lake level has been lowered by almost a metre. And now it’s overflowing. Hmm! Stay tuned for an update and more pics.

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Leave a Comment
  1. Derrick / Mar 3 2012 11:47 pm

    We could do with some of this rain (not all of it though)
    its the driest winter here since the 70’s they are predicting a summer drought and stand pipes

    I dont remember seeing a full days rain here in January or Febuary, the grass hasnt grown up as fast as it usually does at this time of the year, so it looks like Oz is keeping all the rain to its self this year


    • leggypeggy / Mar 3 2012 11:54 pm

      Sorry to be short-changing you. We really don’t need it all, so I’ll check into sending you some.


      • Derrick / Mar 4 2012 12:00 am

        thanks, just the overspill will do, and that will take the pressure off the dam for you,

        I think we could do with a month of steady rain to fill everything up, even the river near me is down to a trickle now, its usually full and flowing fast


      • leggypeggy / Mar 4 2012 12:06 am

        Off and on, we’ve had a month of steady rain. I bequeath the next month to you, and the overspill too. Not sure I can make it happen, but I can hope for it.


  2. barkinginthedark / Feb 12 2017 3:32 pm


    Liked by 1 person


  1. The sun has come out—after 3 more inches of rain « Where to next?

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