Mortlake cattle 'stranded' by floods

Heavy rain causes yearling bulls to spend the night 'stranded'


The bulls were safe and the river had started to subside.


Ninety yearling bulls were stranded for about 24 hours at Mortlake last week after heavy rainfall caused catchments to flood.

The Te Mania Angus bulls, estimated at between $6000 and $8000 a head, spent the night huddled together after 58 millimetres of rain fell across the district.

Te Mania co-principal Tom Gubbins said the herd was in no danger as the river had peaked and had begun to subside.

"We assessed the bulls and they had four or five hectares so we decided to go to bed and not worry about it," Mr Gubbins said.

"The bulls were perfectly safe and we opted not to walk them off because that would have put them under more stress."

The flooding was caused by localised falls at Mortlake and showers near the Grampians which caused the Hopkins River to burst its banks due to increased flows from two nearby creeks.

"We normally get floods like this every year but it hasn't happened for quite a while but it's the first time we've had cattle stranded like this," Mr Gubbins said.

West of Mortlake at Minhamite, mixed farmer Bindi Whitehead received 75mm of rain at her sheep and cropping property between Wednesday and Thursday.

"For us the rain came at a good time because it fell at the end of cropping season so we hope it will help fill out the crops," Mrs Whitehead.

"We have a dry creek which never normally has any water as well as Spring Creek which runs all the time but it was the highest I've seen both of them in a few years."

Where rain fell

Bureau of Meteorology rainfall data reveals Warrnambool Airport was the wettest place Victoria in the 48 hours to Friday morning, receiving 84.2mm in the gauge.

Horsham Aerodrome (32.8mm), Ouyen (19.9) and Mildura (14.6) also received much-needed falls.

BoM climatologist Jonathan Pollock said on average falls of between 15-25mm were recorded on average across the Western District and north-east on Thursday.

"It's not unusual to see this kind of rainfall and we were expecting above average rainfall for October and this is consisted with La Nina," Mr Pollock said.

"At the one-month outlook for November, most of the state is likely to be wetter than average and the highest chances for above average rainfall is likely to be across the north."

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