Morgan couple find their river legs again

Published online: Jan 13, 2012 News
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Kay and Trevor Burr have only just settled into their houseboat home after high water levels, and the flow on effects, kept them away for one year.

Flows into the Murray in South Australia peaked at 93,000 megalitres a day around February 2011.

The Murray River widened and water levels remained high in the Mid Murray region until around May 2011.

Kay and Trevor Burr found the after effects of the high flows kept them away from their house boat home even longer.

"When the waters receded you still couldn't bring your car in because the roads had been washed away and they were very wet.

"So unless you had a four wheel drive, and I'm not even sure that would have worked, you would become bogged."

Kay added that even after ditching the car and walking the 2.5 kilometres to the moorings the ground that greeted her there was so porous and water logged that sinking up to your knees in mud was a real possibility.

Kay says that perhaps if they were younger they could have made it back home a little earlier.

"If we were younger and fitter we possibly could have got back on the boat sooner but there was a lot of erosion in the mooring area that we were in."

Kay and her husband called on friends and family to stay with initially.

With Kay adding that after the year that has passed they almost qualify as professional house sitters.

Kay says that it took her a while to get to her sea legs back after so long land.

"When I did get back on the boat I had lost my sea legs, if you know what I mean.

"You get used to the rocking and I had to actually hang on for the first few days because I was unsteady.

"But I've got my sea legs, or river legs back, and I'm fine."

Mayor of Mid-Murray Council, Dave Burgess, believes most people in the region have gained access to their houseboats and shacks on the river by now but that it did take some time.

"Within a month [of waters receding] most people would have had access back to their areas but some may have taken longer.

"If you had private land and had to cross over a claypan to get to where you have your shack or moor your houseboat that would obviously take a bit longer.

"Sometimes the ground looks fine on the surface but its damp underneath and not very good to drive on."

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