THE Ovens River is back flowing along its pre-October 2016 flood course because of a newly built rock chute downstream of Pioneer Bridges in Markwood.
The rock chute forms part of a controlled spillway which was designed to rectify a major breach in the river bank to provide protection to multiple essential public assets and return the level of flood inundation to surrounding properties to pre-October 2016 conditions.
North East Catchment Management Authority Flood Recovery Manager, Dean Jones, said 16 individual landholders along approximately 13 kilometres of the Ovens River between Everton and Tarrawingee were impacted by the breach which occurred during the flood events of last year.
“We have worked with the community, listened to their concerns, and together developed solutions which provide good outcomes for all affected parties,” Mr Jones said.
“We engaged a consultant to develop a detailed spillway design based on the geomorphic investigation which was completed immediately post flood and included the utilisation of aerial images taken by drones and a bathometric survey of the riverbed.”
He said the works commenced mid-May 2017 and involved removing log jams and debris, constructing a sheet pile cut-off wall and importing over 3500 tonnes of rock to construct the rock chute and reinforce the river bank.
“We determined this was a priority site due to the impacts to essential public assets and local landholders, and we successfully applied for more than $300,000 from the jointly funded Commonwealth and Victoria Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA),” Mr Jones said.
“We’re making every effort to complete the works before the onset of winter with the project anticipated to be finalised in spring. Once the work is completed we expect, under certain flood conditions, the extent of inundation experienced by landholders will be returned to pre-October 2016 flood conditions.”
Mr Jones said: “NDRRA funding is also currently being delivered on flood recovery projects on the Little Snowy Creek in Eskdale, the Corryong Creek at Colac Colac and the Ovens River in Harrietville with all sites posing threats to essential public assets”.
“The majority of the work is bank stabilisation works which reduces the potential for further erosion occurring which can lead to greater impacts to essential public assets,” he said.
“The flood mitigation work is being undertaken in conjunction with significant investments in recreational fishing initiatives, particularly along the Little Snowy Creek. The North East CMA have put together a flood recovery team and are working hard to develop an efficient recovery program for the remaining eligible sites which will be delivered from spring 2017 onwards.”