Residents of Middleton, on South Australia’s south coast, are cleaning up after flash floods inundated businesses and homes in the town.
Heavy rain fell around 5pm on Saturday and when Middleton Creek burst its levee, water, mud and debris flooded the town’s caravan parks, supermarkets, pharmacies, medical centers, surf shops and several homes.
Residents were caught off-guard by how quickly the water level in the creek rose. Cars were left behind in caravan parks, some with stuck windshield wipers, while drivers and passengers fled to safety.
Three local men who went chest-deep in water to rescue two women stranded in a caravan park cabin are hailed as heroes.
Middleton CFS says if you know who the man is, say thank you to the locals and tell them to buy you a beer.
Resident Rob was in an onsite van with his wife and dog Frankie when he noticed that the creek bank was starting to rise.
“It got higher and higher and within minutes the embankment burst and the whole caravan park was flooded,” he said.
“There are probably 25, 30 vans and cabins gone, including ours, so it’s hard.
Keith Spacey’s home is also flooded and covered in mud.
He was sitting by the fire taking a nap when his wife told him that water was coming into the house.
Water flooded their rotting system and raw sewage flooded the bathroom.
The pedestrian bridge over the mouth of the Creek in Middleton Beach has been severely damaged by the torrent and is closed.
The rock cages that had been lined along the stream to prevent erosion were thrown onto the water’s edge, along with a few trees and household debris.
A group of Middleton residents worked late into the evening trying to remove as much debris as possible before the tide came in.
Others returned at first light Sunday to help clean up.
Rain and thunder wreaked havoc elsewhere on the Fleurieu River, with Port Elliot show organizers closing stalls and rides early amid thunder and torrential rain.
Several roads were also damaged, including Crow’s Nest Road in Port Elliot and Hindmarsh Tiers Road in the Hindmarsh Valley.