Tuross Lake’s opening has been welcomed by the village’s waterfront business owners.
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After the channel was excavated, water from Tuross Lake was able to pour out to the sea on Saturday, relieving worried residents and waterfront business owners.
Tuross Boatshed and Café owner Janine Suthern was more than happy to see the water recede after it had risen into her shop. She was forced to move stock from the shelves and move the outdoor settings off the deck.
“I had a blue canoe and I had to paddle from my office to the front door of the shop,” Ms Suthern said.
On Friday, Ms Suthern and her staff were constantly watching a weather map online to see how much rain would come down the river.
“By the time we left it was up to the tyres, we knew it was coming up.”
Luckily, the staff members were prepared for the rise and moved products and furniture out of harm’s way. On Saturday morning, the water was just inside the shop door.
“We had prepared so we weren’t scared. My main worry was whether they were going to open the entrance or not. If they didn’t, it would have just risen further.”
The boatshed has a flood level mark on it, with the last high water dating back to about this time in 2007.
Owner/manager of The Pickled Octopus, Greg Ferguson, said this was the second time in 13 years that he’s seen it that high.
“It’s a great thing, it was very exciting. I’m more than happy to clean up and move things if it means a flood,” Mr Ferguson said.
He said the water got to 5mm below his downstairs storeroom, but, with the water being so close, they had an influx of customers.
“It was good for business, I was very busy. The water level on the bottom deck meant they had absolute waterside dining.”
Mr Ferguson said he hoped the lake would stay open for a long time because of all of the water that’s coming down from the mountains.
“It should continue to stay open for a long time. Last time it was just local water that flooded the lake, but this time it’s coming from up the river,” he said. “It’s got a huge catchment area, and there’s a huge amount of rain in the mountains.”
He said the overall response from the locals was positive about the entrance opening up.
“It’s a celebratory event when it’s opened,” he said.
Despite having cleaned up after the minor flooding, Ms Suthern said the extra water was definitely a positive for the river.
“I’m glad to have the nice clean water, and having a nice and healthy system.”