A SMALL central Victorian town has marked a decade since devastating floods swept away their recreation reserve buildings, while also damaging homes.
Thursday was 10 years to the day for Newbridge since flood water ravaged parts of the town.
Before the waters subsided they washed away the town's recreation facilities, flooded houses and damaged the church and community hall.
But reserve committee members say they are grateful for the way the town came together in response to the crisis, to rebuild the reserve.
Newbridge Recreation Reserve Committee treasurer Sue Horsley can remember to flood water rising. It came just after a huge working bee, during which the community members laid down the concrete for new netball courts.
Ms Horsley and her husband hung everything on the walls throughout the recreation reserve's clubrooms to avoid damage, when they first noticed the river rising.
It kept rising, and began to affect nearby properties. Ms Horsley can remember community members preparing people's houses, as they watched the water come.
It covered the tennis courts, the netball courts, rose through the football club rooms, and ran through at least one house.
Floodwaters lifted up a tennis club shelter, carrying it over the top of the playground, then crashed it into the canteen of the old football clubrooms, Ms Horsley said. It wiped out the kitchen, the umpires room and the admin room.
Ms Horsley said no one had realised just what the 100 year flood level meant before that week. But when it came to it, the community worked well together during the crisis, she said.
"We initially watched in interest as the water levels rose. I know there were bets at the pub as to how far it would get across the road to the pub," she said.
"[But] when [we] saw what was happening and how things were progressing, ... it was all hands on deck to help people in need."
The same spirit helped the town rebuild after the devastation.
The recreation reserve committee already had conceptual plans for a long-dreamed of upgrade to clubrooms, which they were able to put into action with a team from the community, council and state government.
It took lots of work, but the town rebuilt the clubrooms and the tennis courts, making several improvements to the reserve along the way.
"What we've got there wouldn't be there if it wasn't for all the volunteer work," Ms Horsley said.
"We had people turning up to working bees, volunteering their labour. We had builders donating their apprentices to build stuff. We had organisations donating machinery and operators."
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