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Real Time Info on River Heights
Community Support and News
What to do in an Emergency
History and Records
Student Tasks

Real Time Info on River Heights

Warnings and Updates

BOM River Heights

Dam levels

Community Support and News

News Radio

ABC Local Radio
ABC Local Radio

  • With its network of more than 60 local radio stations throughout Australia,
    ABC Local Radio is uniquely placed to communicate emergency updates to communities affected by natural disasters.
    Listen to yourABC Local Radiostation for information, advice and updates.

Flood News on Twitter

News Websites:

What To Do In An Emergency



Flood Zoning



History and Records

Flood records at Echuca Wharf (source: Port of Echuca)

1870 – 96.19 meters
1867 – 95.34 meters
1916 – 94.79 meters
1975 – 94.79 meters
1993 – 94.77 meters
1956 – 94.57 meters
1974 – 94.51 meters
1917 – 94.50 meters
1889 – 94.35 meters
1906 – 94.32 meters

Jan 2011 Floods


In times of need, people in our rural areasare famous for pulling together and supporting each other.In 1956 towns along the River Murray were tested to their limitsStory

EMagazine: Echuca Most Memorable Floods

Interviews George Negus Tonight: the story of a 200 year flood



Personal stories:

Community Stories: Wentworth
Video: Wentworth floods 1956
National Library of Australia
Museum Victoria





Torrumbarry Wier with all gates raised

loch garry on th Goulburn River downstream from Shepparton

The primary result of the Cadell Fault however is that the west-flowing water of the Murray River strikes the north-south running fault and diverts both north and south around the fault in the two main channels (Edwards and ancestral Goulburn) as well as a fan of small streams, and regularly floods a large amount of low-lying country in the area. These conditions are perfect for River Red Gums, which rapidly formed forests in the area. Thus the displacement of the Cadell Fault 25,000 years BP led directly to the formation of the Barmah River Red Gum Forests


Soldiers fill sandbags in Echuca. (ABC News)


Barmah Forest and floods


Hundreds of years ago the Murray flowed north of Echuca, along the course of what is today called Green Gully. It was the Goulburn River that flowed through what is now Echuca. Tectonic activity caused the land to the west of the present Barmah-Millewa Forest to be uplifted by between 8 and 12 metres along a north-south fault line, sloping back down to the west (the Cadell Tilt Block). The Cadell Fault Line runs between Deniliquin and Moama. The same fault may continue south from Echuca to, say, Runnymeade (Lake Cooper and Green Lake lay immediately east of this fault). The westward course of the Murray was blocked and a huge lake formed as a result. Earth movements along this fault are still occurring. The uplift was thought to have occurred about 16,000 years ago, give or take a few thousand years.

external image tilt_block.gifOver the years, the Murray tried to escape from this lake. Gulpa Creek is an early attempt. Eventually the waters flowed around the northern edge of the tilt block as The Edward (alongside which Deniliquin is now built) and south as The Narrows. The Edward rejoined the old course of the Murray near Barham. The Goulburn may have also blocked for a time. Eventually, the Murray also found an escape to the south (The Narrows) and flowed into the Goulburn. The Narrows is a perched river with natural silt jetties separating it from the remnants of a once larger large, Moira Lake and Barmah Lake. Most rivers flow in a valley but The narrows is actually higher than the land either side, its natural levees preventing the river from spreading out over a vast area. In flood times , The narrows (Barmah Choke) cannot carry as much water as other parts of the river system, so the surrounding flat land is flooded. The fault also created numerous braided channels which distribute flood waters throughout the forest.

Frequent flooding enabled a red gum forest to be created, with Banksia and native Pine dominating aeolian sand ridges which mark the retreating edge of prior lakes. Local rainfall alone cannot support the forest.



River Formation



How floods shape rivers

currrents undercut a redgum at the Campaspe junction (Riv Herald)

gradually changing the river's shape

  • river beds move over time
  • cut and deposit
  • billabongs

Student Tasks


Zoning and Flood Risk

  1. Find out which zone your house is in by reading through the above documents and the Flood map from the Shire of Campaspe.
  2. How flood prone is your house?


Using the information on real time heights of the river answer the following questions
1. What is the current height of the river now?

2. Is the river rising or falling? Explain how you can tell this.

3. Copy the graph from both the area where you live and somewhere upstream to your notes.

4. Compare these.

5. What do you expect to happen in the next week to the river near where you live?

6. Why?

ABC - Goulburn downstream of McCoy's Bridge

Media Articles

Current News Articles

    1. Make a folder with the news articles you find by searching your local paper and the links below.
    2. Don’t forget to say where you found the article and what year it is from.

ABC News Feed (automatically updated)

Past articles

What To Do In An Emergency

    1. Make a safety broschure to be handed out to people in flood prone areas.
    2. Include pictures, phone numbers and websites where they can look for information
    3. Construct a simple graphic with three or four steps



  1. Why does having three rivers make Echuca particularly suseptable to rapid flooding?

  2. How does the Kanyapala basin protect Echuca from floods?

  3. How did it form?


  1. Where are the biggest levee banks in Echuca and Moama?
  2. Draw their positions on a map of the town.
  3. Take a walk along the levees and discuss their height, position, function and potential problems.
  4. For which flood were they built?
  5. How have they been changed since that time?
  6. Levee banks are sometimes controversial. Why could this be so?


How floods shape rivers

  1. find a picture on Google Earth / Maps showing how the Murray River meanders and moves over time.
  2. Copy this and your favorite graphic explaining why rivers meander to your notes
  3. Explain how billabongs and beaches form.


How do floods affect our natural environment? Discuss how floods

  • dictate where forests are and what trees dominate them...
  • influence which animals that are able to live in our forest and riverine environment...
  • contribute to biodiversity...
  • affect the fertility of farmland...
  • counteract salinity...
  • recharge the water-table...
  • assist carbon capture by the environment...


    1. Write down a story that you have either heard from someone about the floods, or research one.
    2. Send it to your teacher and we will see if we can include it on this website.
    3. Read about how the little grey fergie saved the town of Wentworth.
    4. Copy a picture of a little grey fergie and write a poem about what happened.